Summer Pressure

By: Kendall Silwonuk

Four months ago, if you’d asked me of my plans for the summer, I would tell you:

“Probably staying in DC, hopefully interning at a think tank of some sort, maybe working on the Hill on the side, spending weekends and evenings as a server at a restaurant or in retail for the money.”

Ask me now.

“I’m going home to work at my favorite grilled cheese bar.”

I am so excited about my new answer.

I cannot wait to spend the summer at the pool with my sister, eating with my friends, seeing movies with my parents, saving money before I go abroad for the fall. I cannot wait for my first “real” part-time job working at my very favorite local restaurant. I cannot wait to worry about nothing, to enjoy some free time for most of this summer.

Is that right? I don’t know. Should I be happy that I’m not garnering the impressive titles my friends will, not traveling the world and serving others as they will, not working day in and out for some of the most powerful people in the country as they will? I don’t know. 

As Georgetown students, we have so many options here in DC and around the world over the summer. There’s also a good amount of pressure on us to use our time wisely. To apply for ten jobs. To get that internship. To fill the hole that a summer can leave on a resume.

So maybe a career counselor would tell me I’m crazy to spend the summer after sophomore year serving fried mac and cheese sandwiches. 

But I just typed that sentence and I don’t feel crazy; I’m anxious to start. I am so excited to meet new people and earn some money, to eat grilled cheese sandwiches every day for a week until I can't stand them. To spend time with my dog. To read a couple of new books. To volunteer. I’ve never been camping; maybe I’ll try that. Or I’ll learn to scuba dive in the small ravine in the middle of Columbus, Ohio. Or I’ll go to a music festival—that’d be new and crazy, I’m sure. Maybe I’ll train for a marathon (or not). Maybe I’ll learn to cook (finally). Maybe I’ll go on that road trip to the haunted old hospital I always said I’d go to. 

I promise I’ll have a good summer—that’s all I know for now. Will it help me get a job in three years? I don’t know, but I can worry about that then. There’s so many options, so many incredible things all of our Georgetown peers will be doing this summer, and I will definitely watch and encourage the amazing work they’ll do. 

Still, I can’t help but think that all of my snap stories of grilled cheese sandwiches will make them a little jealous.