I sit in class listening, or not listening to my math teacher ramble on about mean, median, and mode and how statistical math is all around us. Then a cold chill rolls down my spine and I gasp as a cruel realization grabs hold of my attention. Did I do enough this summer? This is a question that will now plague me after every summer for the rest of my college career! This summer I taught environmental science at one of the east coast’s premiere museums, The Franklin Institute, to groups of children from prestigious backgrounds. In my downtime I reached out to the administrator of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful—a national, non-profit, environmental organization—and was able to forge a partnership between them and the Franklin institute. I organized a sit down, agreements, and potential middle ground for both entities. Still, was that enough? When I eventually left my class, having digested very little of the lesson I further pondered the thought. I knew that my summers would be incredibly important to my future. What if the graduate school I apply doesn’t think I did enough my freshman summer? What if they don’t accept me into their program because of the things I decided to do with my time?
I called my dad and talked to him about my feelings. We spoke for hours about my summer and what would happen to my future because of how I chose to spend my summer. I almost cried as I pictured my future disintegrating before me because of one summer. Say goodbye to your Ivy League graduate school I said to myself as I looked on the Facebook of all my friends that took trips to foreign countries, and got internships. Then my dad snapped me out of my pitiful reverie and told me that I still had 6 more semesters and summers to do amazing things. He also told me that I hadn’t wasted my summer, because I loved what I was doing during it. I loved teaching environmental science because I value environmental education, and arranging a sit down between two prominent organizations in Philadelphia was not something a 19 year old does regularly.
The take away from all of my craziness though is that if you love to do something, I mean genuinely love doing something, you should do it! I was passionate about everything I did this summer, and my graduate schools will see that, all I have to do is show them from my perspective. Have confidence about your accomplishments firsties, because believe or not they are amazing! Do what makes you happy firsties, and your summers will take care of themselves!