When I decided to stay at Elon University for the summer, I was expecting to be fairly bored. I've never been the type of person who enjoys sitting around doing nothing, but since most of my friends are living the glamorous intern life in Munich or New York or Los Angeles, I resigned myself to a life of work, sleep and television.
But within a week of arriving, I began to realize that this summer might not be as boring as I thought.
I soon ran into an acquaintance of mine from freshman year. We hadn't talked in quite a while, but we ended up having a 45-minute long conversation in the parking lot of The Station at Mill Point. It was then that I realized that she was just as desperate as I was to have someone to hang out with.
I feel really lucky that I've gotten to reconnect with several people so far that I would never have gotten to know this well otherwise. For once, I'm out talking to non Communications majors, (gasp) and I’ve actually made a few new friends There are lots of people here this summer who are lucky enough to be here with their best friends, but the rest of us are just stumbling around, trying to find people to hang out with. It makes me feel better knowing there are other people in the same boat as me.
Although I’m grateful to have found people to do things with, I’ve also embraced doing things by myself.
For example, I stumbled across a small community theater that just happened to be performing one of my favorite shows this month. I didn't have anyone to go with, so I went alone, and I had a lovely time.
I didn’t have to share the armrest with anyone, I didn’t have to make small talk during intermission and I could sing all the songs under my breath without anyone getting annoyed at me. It was wonderful.
Another day, I decided to drive around town, just to see what's there, since I really don't know anything about Burlington.
I came across the Burlington City Park. Some of my friends had been there before, but I hadn’t. I walked around and realized just how beautiful of a park it is. There are nice pavilions, a creek and rides for children there. It's the quintessential American park sitting right in the middle of Burlington. It’s a perfect place to go for a walk, take a lunch and people watch or read in the grass.
I also went on a shopping spree by myself. I went to the movies by myself. I even took myself out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
There's still another six weeks of summer left, and I might not be in Germany or New York like some of my friends, but I'm definitely going to enjoy the rest of my time. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter where you’re spending your summer or what you’re doing. You can enjoy it if you make up your mind to do so and go out and find things and people that make you happy. I’ve made up my mind that the rest of my summer is going to be great.