The Different Rules of Summer

Summer has always been my favourite season. I love the heat of it, the way the air clings to your skin and makes you feel its presence. I love the potential that stretches among all those endless sunny days, taunting you with adventures you haven’t even thought up yet.

Summer is a time for resolutions, plans, and positivity in my world. It has always seemed more like a beginning point than January does. (Then again, I’m prejudiced against any month when the weather is colder than 15C.)

“Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me”
-Benjamin Alire Saenz

As school has started up again and fall rears it’s colourful head, I’ve found myself reflecting on the duality of my life as someone who lives in residence during the school term, and then moves back in with my parents for the other four months of the year. The roles I play in the two places I call home are so different.

At my parents house -here on referred to as “home” for the sake of simplicity- I am subject to the whims of my mom and dad, as well as their rules, which means that the 2am walks to Tim Hortons that I love so dearly are put on hiatus. This is of course tragic to me, since I love being outside at night more than just about anything else. At school I am subject only to my own whims; which is a dangerous thing that means that my dishes often pile up and my sleep schedule becomes a hazardous mess of short naps interjected with day long sleeping jags.

At home I revel in the meals that I don’t have to worry about, the household supplies I don’t have to buy, the ease of having people who will drive me around when I don’t want to take public transit. At home, I wrestle with my older brother, and chase my giggling baby sister around and rarely leave the house unless someone makes me. Most of my time is spent working as a cashier as opposed to stressing about coursework. When I live at school I am suddenly an adventurer, determined to explore the city, I am a friend at 3am when someone needs a hug, or company to binge netflix with, or coursework looked over. I am part of a support network of people who try their best to keep each other accountable and on task, since none of us can quite do the whole adult-world thing on our own yet.

My hometown friends, family, and my coworkers all know a different version of me than my university friends do. They see me through the lens of years of knowing the Me That Was, and thus their thoughts on who I am are informed from a completely different point of view. I’d be a fool, and a liar, if I tried to pretend that the way people view me doesn’t affect how I think of myself, and how I act. I noticed a stark difference in my personality while I was at home.

To be clear; I don’t find this unfortunate. The fact that there are multiple ways I can be and exist in the world while still being true to the core of who I am, the fact that I switch between these versions without consciously choosing to…well it’s neat! (Heck, even the fact that some of my closest friends have only known me as a bleach blonde gives me pause.)

It makes me wonder about the versions of the people I’m closest to that I don’t get to see. I want to know who the people that make up my res family were before they entered this transitional period of their lives, how the University Experience has changed them, and most of all, I’m excited to watch as we all continue to grow into ourselves.

I like feeling at home in more than one place, I like the different comforts each provides, the different ways I get to grow and behave and breathe in different spaces that are equally as important to who I am.

I love Summer, as much now as I ever did in grade school. I love it because the rules are different, and that allows me to be different. I have no interest in staying the same person forever, no desire to let myself stagnate.

The only thing is, now I love Fall just a little bit more than I did before. I simply can’t help but be overjoyed to return to this place. Glendon has my heart. Glendon is (one of) my home(s).

~Britney

 

 

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One thought on “The Different Rules of Summer”

  1. This resonated with me so deeply. My Self is so different at home, at work, on campus…and I always wonder what my UK friends would think of my Canadian self! Beautifully written piece, Britney – your authenticity, reflection and poeticism is just gorgeous ❤

    And: "It makes me wonder about the versions of the people I’m closest to that I don’t get to see. I want to know who the people that make up my res family were before they entered this transitional period of their lives, how the University Experience has changed them, and most of all, I’m excited to watch as we all continue to grow into ourselves" YES GIRL. YES. THIS.

    Liked by 2 people

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