Freshman Frolicking: Summer Camp

I remember summer camp well. For a few weeks every summer, I thought of nothing but fun. I ate meals in a dining hall, had limited contact with the outside world and had the time of my life. The seclusion from the outside world was welcomed but I remember feeling clueless once I left for home. My brothers always looked taller and stronger after camp. I was always curious about what happened while I was away and was usually overwhelmed by all I had missed.

In a strange way, college is much like summer camp. Instead of canoeing and kayaking I am concerned with economics and anthropology. I was given a roommate whom I had never met and while I have phone and internet access, my knowledge of the outside world is still limited.

Ok, so it is my fault that I don’t pick up the New York Times more often, but it’s difficult for me. College is a very busy place where I am constantly deluged with homework and tons of reading as it is. Therefore, buying a newspaper is a luxury I don’t always have. For the first couple of weeks I bought Sunday New York Times to catch up on the week, but spending $4.50 on the Times each week became costly.

Now, I could follow the news more. In fact, I’ve gotten into the habit of checking CNN.com or MSNBC.com daily, but the news on these sites isn’t always very in-depth. And the news on t.v. is so tabloid-crazy that finding anything worthwhile is challenging.

My friend Becca (who describes campus as a “bubble”) and I were talking about how we had completely forgotten about the Primary Election. I suppose that having a sort of enclosed college community is healthy and I should take advantage of that “bubble” as long as possible, but still…

The crux of the situation for me is my family. Now, I haven’t longed to go home every weekend. Yet a lot of people here live close enough that they can. My family, on the other hand, lives four to five hours away. I miss seeing them daily and having a huge phone bill doesn’t begin to account for them not being here.

But that is another aspect of college to get used to. For college lets us adjust and gain our independence gradually; we are not living on our own with our careers funding us, but we are more responsible and free than ever before.

Yet I think of summer camp even when college forces me to adjust to change. College may never offer me the consistency of summer camp, but it sure offers the growth and joy.