The Strange Sorrow of Summertime

Huh…sounds like the title of a novel. I’m not sure whether it would be a good novel or not, but I digress.

During every semester before a break, I yearn for said break. I look at everything I have to do for class, look at personal errands beside those tasks, and I count the days until I can be lazy as possible. The things I like to do when lazy during a break sometime manifest most clearly when I procrastinate for one reason or another. I watch YouTube videos, play a bit on my characters in an MMORPG, or browse the Internet mindlessly. When I’m in the thick of coursework and all the stress that comes with it, I wish for nothing more than respite in the form of not having to do anything related to academia.

The break we take for Summer is the shining jewel in the crown of this hope. I don’t just get weeks—I get months. There is suddenly so much time to spend pretty much however I want to spend it, and after all the stress of this last Spring semester in particular, this specific Summer break was something I sorely needed. I dreamed about not having to wake up early to catch a bus to campus for class, and instead being able to wake up whenever to do whatever as I pleased (for the most part). I reasoned that it would be a wonderful way to recover and prepare for my last semester (!!!) of undergraduate studies, and where Spring was hectic, Summer would be swell.

And then…then I remembered why part of me always gets sad around this time.

Before you think I’m going to start talking about a personal tragedy or something, I will assure you that this is not that kind of post. The kind of post this is, is more along the lines of something small that other people may not be bothered by. There are bound to be people who feel this way in some respect(s), but I know others may not understand it fully. This isn’t what I’d necessarily call petty, but I do feel about five years-old when I say it.

I get lonely.

I don’t get out much, and I’ve fallen out of touch with a lot of people I’ve met over the years. There are games I want to play with people who now have other responsibilities, such as jobs and families and maybe summer school class(es). I do talk to a couple of people over Skype, and of course I have my boyfriend to text and see every so often. My parents are also here. But there are times when I remember certain lovely times with awesome people, and I miss them all, which brings down my summertime happiness levels. There are certain jokes that go over people’s heads that would have cracked up the people they were originally told to. There are references and games and certain situations that make sense and are enjoyable in a way that can’t be replicated outside the original characters in this story. I acknowledge that my lack of resources and my reliance on nostalgia, not to mention my shyness, all combine to make this my fault in some ways. I’m not trying to determine fault, though, it’s just a statement: I feel lonely.

School may be stressful, but it’s also been one of the primary ways I’ve kept in touch with people. It got me out of the house, and being on campus provided a safe location where I could chill with people. Sure, there have still been times when I felt lonely on campus, but that was mostly at the start. Now that I’m at home almost all the time, though, there is a socialization gap that is so sorely felt.

Some people might say I can easily fill this time by doing productive things, like cleaning my room. While it’s certainly a goal of mine before the next semester starts, it isn’t the same as sitting down to a card game with friends. I can sit down and read, which would take a dent out of the pile of somewhat-read books I’ve accumulated over the past few months. However, it doesn’t substitute for being outdoors and having fun with people.

(At this point, I want to apologize for complaining, because I honestly feel like I am, and I feel like I shouldn’t.)

It sucks because I’m introverted in the way I don’t keep a large group of friends, but if I don’t hang out with people, I get too lonely. I’m extroverted just enough to piss off the introvert in me, and vice versa. I don’t want to totally exclude myself from the outside world, and I don’t want to totally immerse myself in it—I’m in the middle somewhere, but it’s never a static point. I have felt like I’ve had to take time for myself after a get-together in order to recuperate, but it hasn’t been a crippling need.

(And now I feel like I’m whining, so…you get an apology for that, too!)

(…and now I’m not quite sure why I wrote this in the first place.)

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