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Summer Nostalgia


It's July 31st of the strangest summer in my life so far. 

As I'm writing this, I have just moved back home after three years of studying abroad. My heart is occupied by a cocktail of mixed emotions, my body is painfully exhausted and my mind is incredibly confused. I have no plans for the summer, or for my future in general. All I know is that I suddenly closed a big chapter of my life - but I’m not certain if I’m ready for the next one yet. I want to go back to what summer used to be; usually around this time I would be rocking my tan on the streets of my hometown, having just returned from my second seaside holiday and already planning the next one. I would be gleaming with happiness and loving life, enjoying an unprecedented level of carelessness. And I would be praying that time slows down so that I can remain in this blissful state forever. 

Summer has always been my favorite part of the year; the ultimate source of joy which helps me get through the other seasons. No matter what happened throughout  the rest of the year, the promise of an amazing summer was always there to look forward to. Prior to this year, I sincerely believed that troubles and worries automatically go away in summer, chased by the rays of sunshine and washed away by the waves of the sea. Because this is how it always used to be.

This year made me wonder whether the time of my careless summers is over. What if my theory is wrong, and one can in fact have a not so pleasant summer? What made all my previous summers so wonderful, and will I ever be able to experience such pure joy again? 

I realized that summer is simply different when you are a child. The start of summer always meant the end of school, and thus goodbye to all responsibilities. You didn’t have to think about anything but today. Waking up late, spending time as you please and devoting your attention to things which actually interest and excite you. Writing bucket lists with friends and then turning those into unforgettable memories. Roaming around the streets in search of the next 'secret spot', or at least an alcohol store which doesn't check IDs. Jumping into fountains or running under water hoses in the park. Going on summer camps and ending up skinny dipping at 3am. Reading books in your grandma's garden and napping on a hammock. Confessing to your crush that you like them. Sneaking out to watch the sunrise on a rooftop. Being reckless and feeling invincible. Summer was for doing it all. It always equaled three months of untroubled existence. The whole world was gathered in each day and anything was possible. 

Once you grow up, you are expected to find obligations. Somehow, you are no longer allowed to be completely unbothered. Which has to imply that summer as I know it is over. I can still love it, for its long sunny days, warm starry nights, exciting holiday plans and mojito dates. But can I experience the same rush of not knowing what the day will bring? Of feeling unstoppable because there’s not a single responsibility in this world to bring me down? Summer is a wave of euphoria over its endless possibilities, an experience of freedom and carelessness on a level freely accessible to my younger self -  thirsty for life and convinced that school is the hardest, most boring thing ever. 


Summer was never simply a season, it is a feeling which I refuse to let go of. When you are a child on a summer holiday, it is easy to realize that life is meant to be enjoyable and that your soul should always run free. You are literally told ‘Okay, here are these 3 months, have fun!’. When you are an adult, no one gives you this time anymore. Responsibilities stop expiring in June. But this doesn’t mean that life should be any less exciting. It can still be like a summer day from your childhood - just as good as you make it. 


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