This summer, I’m taking a road that, while it may not be less traveled, it might be less advised. As has been customary in my young adult life so far, I’m taking stock of what I need mentally and emotionally so that maybe I’ll have more longevity in the long run. I’m taking a breather for the summer.
In lieu of working or taking an internship in the city, I decided to come home for a couple of months–to recharge, refresh and refill my energy reserves. To slow down some while I can, because it’ll be a whole other story once I finish up the program in December. If this all pans out right, I’ll be launched into the world of professional journalism for the long run. It’s back to being a real adult where summers and spring breaks are no longer guaranteed. A transition is coming, again, and the better move for me right now is to slow up rather than surge forward.
So far, I’ve gone on a road trip with my parents, played volleyball with cousins, and collected more than my fair share of mosquito bites–and we’re just getting into June here. On the docket there’s a friend’s wedding on the horizon, as well as several more road trips, catching up on good TV (House of Cards and Game of Thrones anyone?), being the obnoxious sibling at my brother’s summer basketball games and sleep, of course.
But my summer won’t be completely devoid of journalism. I’ll have time to try my hand at freelance writing and pitching stories. I’ll have time to blog more and really reflect on two fast-paced semesters here at Columbia. I’ll have time to read more which, of course, makes for better writing. These activities, unbound by classes and curriculum, strung together with bits of family time and real rest will make me better going into my final semester at Columbia. If all goes well, I’ll be able to grab a little of my sanity back. Maybe eat more veggies, drink more water.
I say all this to encourage you to pay attention to yourself and what you need. When I started school, I accepted that this was going to be a time where I had to grind it out and commit myself to learning, networking and building my skill set by way of real experiences. I knew there would be new settings and less sleep, new challenges and self-discovery. I knew that going back to school after four years would be a change of pace if nothing else, and boy, has it ever been. I knew it was necessary for me to find balance somewhere. By all means, jump into the rat race (for lack of a better term) and engage the public, engage the politicians, challenge our collective ideas of what “good journalism” really is. But changing the world is work–worthy work, but work still, especially with our current political circus always playing these reality show episodes in the background of our lives. There’s no shame in hopping off the hamster wheel when you need to.