Summer break provides time for adventures with friends, family

In the Bay Area, it’s natural to view the annual summer vacation not as a well-deserved break from schoolwork, but instead as a time to work even harder. We’ve been running ourselves ragged all school year, only to pile on more responsibilities once it’s over. It’s perfectly reasonable to occupy our free time with productive, exciting endeavors, but the pressure to be productive all the time erodes our ability to learn, and consequently, to love learning.

The high school experience can often feel like a consuming never-ending, all-you-can-eat buffet: we’re served heaps of study sessions, tests and schoolwork, slowly filling up our plates until we can’t see past what’s right in front of us. All we do is wake up morning after morning, chugging through another repetitive day. While the work feels endless, it isn’t; we get nine weeks of well-deserved rest every year. But milking summertime for all of the academic potential it possesses eliminates the fun aspect of summer. It just feels like school continues in the summer, causing us to grow tired of enrichment and learning.

This summer, I’ve tried to take as much time as possible to interact with the people around me, recharging for the next year. I haven’t exactly succeeded, as I often find myself rushing from meeting to meeting, and it feels like I’m out of the house more than I’m in it. Consequently, summer’s frenzied nature prevents me from adequately resting in time for next year’s workload. In the long term, I fear missing out on the many memories I could have made during high school. Many people view their teenage years as one of the best and most carefree times of their lives, with enough freedom to explore but not enough responsibilities
to feel weighed down. What if one day I look back at my time here, and I can’t remember anything but work?

We’re only in high school once, and these are the last few years we have left with the people we love. My best advice? Take advantage of your summers as best as you can by spending quality time with family, making memories that’ll make you smile in your 50s and showing the people around you that you really do love them.