The Clog’s goodbye letter to our 500 days of summer

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Roya Chagnon/Staff

Dear summer,

This isn’t easy for us. Try to remember that. We never wanted this. We wanted our time with you to last forever, but that isn’t the way life is.

Sometimes life takes you by the reins, and not the other way around.

We can still remember the beginning like it was yesterday — the taste of freedom on our tongues as we escaped finals by the skin of our teeth.

Then came the bittersweet — the commencement ceremonies, packing boxes after boxes, moving out of dorms and back home, and a mixture of relief and remorse in saying goodbyes to family and friends.

Maybe summer was like a holiday. Maybe you boarded a plane and landed in another city, country or part of the world. Maybe you started an internship, classes with strangers or something foreign and exciting. Maybe you took those weekends in with a mixture of your new friends and walked down to beach towns with people you would never have noticed or spoken to if you hadn’t met them the way you did, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Maybe summer was recuperation. You did it! You graduated, you made it through another semester, or you only have a few more years to go. Maybe you stayed at home, worked at your local café, took classes at a community college or took up a hobby.

Or maybe summer wasn’t an excuse, and the grind never stopped. Maybe you didn’t leave Berkeley at all and had to watch from the sidelines as friends traversed the world while you scrolled down your feeds, clicking likes and hearting pics on Instagram. Maybe you had one week to catch your breath before summer session came for you. You took all the classes you needed to and threw in a minor (or two) just for the “fun” of it. Maybe you took another job or another internship, knowing that summer is short but your life is forever. And maybe you can hardly wait to tell this summer, “Hey, it’s been great, but it’s time for us to part.”

It’s August already, and maybe it feels like the end. The end of the “what ifs” and the “maybes,” but the beginning of the “How was your summer?” or “What did you do?”

“So much,” you might want to say, “and not enough.”

Dear summer, there’s so much pressure on us to have the most amazing time of our lives with you that we can’t help but feel a little cheated when things don’t turn out that way.

We could’ve had the most incredible time, the most wonderful opportunities or the most fully well-deserved rest, and yet we still feel like our 500 days of summer shouldn’t be over yet.

The truth is, whether you’re a freshman or entering senior year, what we know as “summer” is almost at an end. Most people don’t get months off, and we can’t help but mourn those lighter days we had as kids when summer meant everything. Now, we scrape and grab for anything close to those old summers.

Maybe you didn’t get that break this time. Maybe you tell yourself you’ll get it next time, but we need to give summer the break it needs, too. (“It’s not me; it’s you.”)

August is here, and fall is coming.

Maybe we should take the time to think of those little moments we’ll get when we come back to campus again. Maybe we should think of that new stage in our lives.

In this way, we’ll learn that we don’t need summer anymore.

There are lattes, cool days, Halloween and so much more just around the corner.

Maybe 500 days of autumn doesn’t sound so bad, after all.

Love always,

The Clog

Lauren West is the assistant blog editor. Contact Lauren West at [email protected].