The last student summer

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When we graduated from high school, completing our bachelor’s degrees seemed like it would take a lifetime. Though we knew just how quickly four years could pass — we had just finished four years of high school, after all — we thought another four, five or however many years it would take to finish our undergraduate careers at Cal was going to be even slower. We thought we had all the time in the world and that the summer after high school, and the years of college following that, would never end.

Or maybe we were working and taking classes that post-graduation summer. Some of us didn’t even know we were going to Cal yet, and so we thought the days at community college summer session and the semesters following would drag by, sitting in classes that didn’t interest us, working on projects with people we weren’t friends with in high school and running into exes in an all-too-small town.

Yet now, whether we started at Cal as freshmen in 2010 or transferred in 2012, suddenly here we are, right on the dawning horizon of our senior year.

But before we can start our last fall semester at Cal, there’s one more term we will have to dub our “last:” our last summer vacation as students.

Sure, some of us may be going to graduate school or taking time off to find ourselves, but this is the last time we get to really have a summer vacation. Let’s face it: None of us will ever be able to take a straight three months off again after this, even if we become teachers.

It’s the last time most of us will have a full stretch of time to intern or work, without the stress of classes or finding full-time, or at least part-time, employment. It’s the last summer we’ll be able to tell people, “I’m a [blank] year at Cal.” It’s the last time we get to look forward to — or maybe dread, if you’re not as spirited about school — returning to Berkeley after a hot summer.

It’s the last summer of our college careers, and it’s rather bittersweet for most of us. But we have to admit, we still have so much ahead of us during our senior year. And we anticipate grad parties galore next summer: our first summer as Cal alumni.

If you’re in your “last student summer” right now, what are you looking forward to potentially experiencing for the last time? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: Mait Jüriado, under Creative Commons

Contact Jessica Rogness at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessarogness.