My last summer as an Oberlin College student has already been a pretty special one (so far...)
As comedian/musician Lil' Duval says: "I'm living my best life." Since this is my very last summer as an undergraduate student, I wanted to make sure that I make the absolute most of it. This includes career opportunities, money opportunities, adventures with family and friends, etc. Once I'm out in the "real world," I might not be able to enjoy and embrace the summer as much, so I figured this would be the perfect season to do everything in my power I intend to do.
The summer days here in Texas are ridiculously hot, which is a complete contrast to the winters I experience at Oberlin.
My friends at Oberlin and in the South often joke with me by saying that I experience two extreme seasons per year, and the jokes are honestly factual. I went from experiencing ten degree days to ninety-five degree days in five months. I don't know about you all, but that sounds quite crazy to me. I don’t know how I have managed to deal with it over the past three years, but I guess the adaptability has allowed me to experience different types of weather while I am young so that I’m not too shook if I end up living under extremely cold or hot conditions as I advance in my career. Getting adjusted to the heat has been a challenge in some ways, but I grew up in both Georgia and Texas, so it's nothing new for me to experience. However, the adjusting is never fun.
Transitioning from the very comfortable and mild spring in Ohio to the scorching heat in Texas is one of the worst things about going back home.
The weather seems a lot more tolerable in Ohio over the summer, but it's nothing to get too irritated about. I miss the lovely Ohio warm weather, but I also don't mind being here at all. By the time spring fully emerges in Oberlin, it’s already May. That’s around the time that finals season comes around, and everyone seems focused on schoolwork more than the beautiful nature that surrounds them. The weather really isn’t appreciated as much. I can admit that I didn’t appreciate the weather as much as I could. Now that it’s summertime and I’m living under a Texas scorcher at the moment, I can assure you that a warmer Oberlin is a very beautiful and comfortable Oberlin.
I am enjoying nearly everything about this summer so far.
I enjoy being surrounded by my family. I enjoy hanging out with my friends down here as well. There's always some type of adventure nearly every day since I have been back from Oberlin. It has also been incredible to see how much I have really learned at Oberlin and how applicable those things have been to my life. It isn’t even just the knowledge from the classroom. It’s the knowledge I gained from social events and connection building meetings. It also comes from other areas of college such as athletics and even music. I don’t have any classes in the Conservatory, but I have gained more knowledge about music than ever before from my ridiculously talented friends and classmates who do. Oberlin really has changed me for the better over the years, and this summer has especially highlighted that. I can literally hear the “Oberlin” in me as I talk to my friends, family, and other people while I’m down here. It really trips me out sometimes, because I never imagined that Oberlin would influence me this much.
In some ways, I really do miss Oberlin. I might not miss it to the point where I want to go back right now. However, there are definitely pieces of the college that I wouldn’t mind experiencing right now.
There are some aspects about Oberlin that I feel like I’m missing out on while I’m down here. For instance, I can’t IMAGINE how beautiful Tappan Square looks right now. I saw some pictures from commencement and I was in awe at how bright and green the area looked. I saw a glimpse of it at the end of May, but I never got the chance to see it in its full bloom and beauty. I also wonder about how quiet Oberlin is during the summer and how peaceful it can get. I experienced a little bit of this during football camp in August over the years, but I usually surround myself with teammates 24/7 during that time. Sometimes, I wonder what it’s like to live in Oberlin if I was by myself and it was THAT quiet. There would be so many little adventures that I would go on. I would definitely go jogging all over town almost every day and experience the beauty around me. I try to go running here in Texas, but the dry heat can get too overwhelming at times. Because of that, I have to do a lot of my cardio on a machine that’s indoors. Sure, I still find a way to stay active over the summer, but the experience just isn’t the same. I can’t simply go out and take a hike in this heat, because the hike wouldn’t even be enjoyable at this point. Most of the trails around here are at their best during the colder seasons. Unfortunately, I’m freezing in Oberlin during that time. I’m not too upset about that, though. Once I graduate, I may have more opportunities to experience better outdoor experiences during the summer. It just depends on where I live at that point.
Since this is my last year of football, I have also been making sure that I stay in shape.
It’s summertime, which means that the body is a huge emphasis for a lot of people (including myself, haha). With football season approaching this fall, I’ve been making sure that I don’t eat TOO good when I’m out with friends. I give myself breaks to eat junk food from time to time, but I have to make sure I stay disciplined with my diet throughout the summer so that I don’t come into camp grossly out of shape. Along with this, I have been following the workouts that my coaches have given me, along with creating my own workouts and drills. I really want to have a successful year, so I’ve been doing whatever it takes in order to place myself in the best position to have a phenomenal senior season. I also keep up with my teammates and watch them put in work over the summer. It’s really inspiring to see, and it makes me want to go even harder. With this being the last summer I ever have as an Oberlin student, I put a little pressure on myself to use the time I have as wisely as possible. It’s a good type of pressure, though. I’m enjoying nearly every minute of this summer so far, and I’m excited to see what happens during my last year as an Obie undergrad.
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April 13, 2022