Fun In The Sun: Waving Bye To School And Hello To Summer

Amid the finals and AP tests, the warm weather and sunshine has begun to roll in. We’ve reached that time of year again where you start to hear, “So what are your plans this summer?” And as we all prepare for the end of the school year, murmurs of summer jobs, internships, and vacations has […]

Amid the finals and AP tests, the warm weather and sunshine has begun to roll in. We’ve reached that time of year again where you start to hear, “So what are your plans this summer?” And as we all prepare for the end of the school year, murmurs of summer jobs, internships, and vacations has everyone anticipating summer’s start. 

As summer is fast approaching and we count down the final weeks of school, there are a wide range of emotions. There’s the obvious relief that comes with the end of the school year as the big tests wrap up and the freedom of summer is welcomed. But at the same time it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to those friends you won’t see until next year and wish the seniors well on their journey out of high school. There is also the excitement of finally fulfilling the summer bucket list and the stress of figuring out how to prepare for the next school year. 

Summer should be full of friends, trips (big and small), and all the other activities that make the time off worth it. But the extra free time also means delegating attention and commitment to summer homework, summer school, internships, or jobs. Finding a way to having an efficient summer can be a hassle, especially if as soon as school ends you just want to sleep in and lay by a pool for the few months. 

Many people seem to be embracing the travel and trip aspect of vacation. Everyone is beginning to reveal their big plans for this summer as everything seems to be fully functional compared to previous Covid-recovery summers . 

Collin Ross (‘24) plans to multitask and take advantage of his busy soccer schedule to travel  soccer travel.

Olivia Yee (‘24) is anticipating some relaxing trips where she can get a change of scenery and spend time with her family. What better place to do that than Hawaii?

Andrea Mcauliffe (‘24) may not be traveling far, but location really doesn’t matter when you’re planning on going to one of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Concert. 

“I’m so obsessed with that woman. The way her lyrics resonate with so many people just makes me so emotional. I love her so much and it’s gonna be so fun!”

Ready to take off into summer vacay.

But if big out of town plans aren’t what your summer looks like, then you’re not alone. Everyone enjoys just a relaxing summer in town filled with small days, trips, or casual plans with friends.

Andrea contemplates thoughtfully which one is more valuable: hanging out with friends in town or going on big out of town trips? 

After a moment she replies, “Definitely both, but if I had to choose probably my friends because I always know they’re just a good time.”

Collin agrees with the conclusion that in terms of summer plans being with friends trumps going out of town.

“I like big trips, but I think hanging out with friends is more fun because, I mean, it’s my friends,” he states.

It’s also important to use your summer time wisely to prepare for next year. This can include taking summer school to free next year’s schedule or maybe trying out a couple college courses to stay ahead. It also means actually doing your summer homework and summer reading so you aren’t trying to finish it all the week before school starts. 

Collin takes the responsible student approach when it comes to summer homework, admitting that it’s not fun, but needs to get done. But sometimes, even when it’s a priority, it can get lost in the chaos of a busy summer.

“I want to procrastinate, but I know I shouldn’t,” he says. If I have time, I need to do it. It makes it more stressful on top of the soccer aspect with things like recruiting.”

Olivia’s advice for keeping the workload manageable is taking it one step at a time and starting early. Leaving essays or summer reading until the last minute can really ruin the vibe when you’re trying to hold on to those last weeks of summer. 

“I think I’m gonna get a little bit done everyday because I don’t want to wait until the last minute,” she advises before cautioning, “I know friends who waited until the last minute for AP Lang to do their summer reading and that was a really long book…I’m going to work away at it a little bit everyday so I’m not procrastinating”

As well summer reading, the rising seniors have to start preparing for college applications in a variety of ways. Teachers and counselors are urging that summer be used wisely and we take advantage of the free time to build resumes and map out our senior year. Summer homework handed out by the college counselors is essential for letters of recommendation and other aspects of the application process. This whole process can feel overwhelming, especially when students are trying to use summer as an escape from school. 

Olivia feels this stress creeping up as deadlines are approaching and recognizes that submitting applications is no easy task and can potentially have a lot of impact on one’s future.

She admits that what she’s dreading most this summer is “college apps — I’m so nervous about that.”

“Thinking about applying to colleges makes me sick. It’s so competitive nowadays, and I feel like writing the essays is the most stressful for me because I have no idea what I’m going to write about. And I feel like I need to be really creative, like the girl on TikTok with ‘The Letter S’ essay — you cannot top that,” she confesses.

 “Probably the college homework like the college essays, and then organizing your extra curricular, and answering prompts for the essays,” Andrea lists in response to what aspects of summer she’s dreading. 

As well as getting ready for college, it’s important to look at participating in an internship or getting a job. There are a multitude of reasons to participate in volunteering or internships. It can be a personal reward serving the community and an opportunity to get new experiences and grow personal connections. 

Olivia has plans to volunteer as a camp counselor at the Sacramento Zoo this summer as a way to give back to something that she enjoyed when she was younger. 

“It’s just for a couple weeks, but we take the kids around the zoo and we do art projects,” she explains excitedly.

“I did the camp when I was a kid and I really enjoyed it, so I feel like being older and still being  a part of that camp is really special because it’s kind of like I grew up there. And it’s really fun seeing all the kids looking at the animals because they find everything really funny and they’re asking the silliest questions. I guess being able to give back to the place I grew up is special.”

Andrea and Collin have both landed on the path of summer jobs as a way to get experience and also make some cash this summer. Andrea will be working at her aunt’s restaurant in Walnut Grove while Collin will be working at a local poke place.

“I get to work at the restaurants and take orders, so it will be fun and it’ll definitely give me a new experience,” Andrea says.

“I do it for money because I don’t get an allowance from my parents so otherwise I don’t have any source of income,” Collin says.

Fortunately a job doesn’t have to consume all your free time. “My boss is really flexible, and it allows me to choose when I work and I just make money that way,” Collin adds.

Summer break is the perfect time to escape the Sacramento heat with a trip to the coast.

As resumes are submitted and vacations are booked, there are other summer plans to finalize. The incoming freshmen are anticipating the leap from middle school to high school. The incoming sophomores prepare for an important and full year hoping to build connections with their teachers and further build off the friendships they’ve already made. The incoming juniors welcome the privileges of becoming upperclassmen as they leave behind the title of lowerclassmen. And finally, the incoming seniors prepare for their battle against senioritis.  

Reflecting on the past year and her experiences as a junior Andrea, takes note of all the tools that have been given to her, and she is grateful for the teachers and counselors who have guided her thus far. 

“My teachers have definitely helped, and my counselors and college counselors have given me a good outlook on how my senior so I’m excited,” she expresses with gratitude. 

As we end this chapter ,it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to all the people we’ve become used to seeing everyday. The teachers who have worked so hard to push us to the finish line deserve our appreciation. Which teachers are we gonna miss the most as we wrap up the year and wave hello to summer?

Without hesitation, Collin admits he’ll miss his favorite Honors Physics teacher.

 “Oh definitely Mr. [Bernie] Eckel,” he says. “Just because he’s funny.”

“I do like Mr. [Danny] Delgado ’79 — I’ll miss seeing him everyday for sure,” Andrea reminisces. “This is his last year. He’s retiring after this year”

Olivia gives a detailed explanation of why she’ll miss her AP Chem teacher Dr. Gregory Potter.

“I hated the class. It was actually the worst, the most foul, atrocious class I’ve ever taken in my entire life. I’m literally having war flashbacks. But Dr. Potter was a really nice person and he always put a smile on our face. And even though the class sucked, he still made it tolerable because he was a fun guy to be around.”

Everyone should enjoy their time off and try to not let the stress of school bleed into summer. It’s important to be productive this summer and there are ways to accomplish this, but the most important part of summer break is just taking a break. So good luck getting through the last couple finals and enjoy summer break. 

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