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The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

I Miss Summer.

Art by Orlena Fella

When I was younger, Summer always felt like an escape from the world. It was the time when I could relax and do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Summer was my time to run free and enjoy what it meant to be a child — times that are few and far between amongst teenagers. In my experience, to truly be a child is to be inquisitive, carefree, and innocent. So much of that is lost as we grow up, and I believe the effects of that loss are present in all aspects of our lives.

 I remember the pure joy that coursed through my veins on the last day of 5th grade: I felt so exhilarated, excited, and free to escape Manhattan for a change of setting — for me, that place was Long Island. I relished in the scent of freshly cut blades of grass — their feel against my bare feet — and the refreshing ocean breeze flg owing through the air. My life grew vibrant the minute the last school bell rang. I was free of stress, responsibility, and most of all, homework. 

That last school bell still rings, but for the past handful of years, that immediate delight hasn’t set in. Summer is still Summer, but the excitement surrounding its presence has diminished. Everything has become a little less vibrant and a little more, well, dim. Holidays don’t feel like holidays anymore, nor birthdays like birthdays. Insurmountable waves of pressure overwhelm most teenagers; we become so wrapped up in the opinions of other people that oftentimes we lose sight of who we really are. The thought of something that used to bring a smile to my face no longer receives the same reaction. The small joys and delights of childhood have slowly started to seem less amazing than they once did. Something as small as making a sand castle felt like the most enjoyable thing in the world, but now it seems childish and boring. Yes, building a sandcastle is inherently childish, but why do we interpret that as a bad thing? Maybe it is our new found responsibility, or societal pressures to act a certain way, or maybe it’s just the way things go — maybe life in general becomes less colorful as you age. I’m not sure what the real reason is, but I can definitely say that I no longer have the same outlook on life that I once did. 

I know it’s part of the human experience to find less joy in the little things as we get older, but why do we passively allow ourselves to become more and more jaded? Our responsibilities undoubtedly increase as we age, but why do we allow them to make our vision tunneled, only focused on constantly achieving? I want Summer to feel like Summer again. I want to feel elated just by being able to breathe in fresh air. I don’t have the answers for everyone, but in my experience, finding joy in mundane things is the key to happiness. I hope that soon I will again find delight in simply feeling the wind in my hair, the sand beneath my feet, or listening to the birds sing. I hope that one day soon, the pressures of being a teenager will fade away and I will be able to reconnect with the carefree little girl I once was. I am proud of how I’ve overcome adversity to evolve into the person I am today, yet I yearn deeply for the happiness I remember so fondly from my childhood. Maybe I need to pick up mindfulness — that is what Mr. R. Choi would’ve wanted for all of us. Mindfulness isn’t just sitting quietly in a dark room, even though that’s my first thought. It’s learning how to accept what comes your way, and truly live in the present. For me, joy stems from taking things as they come and trying to appreciate the simple things. However, that is easier said than done. It is much easier to claim that I won’t let anything affect me than it is to stick to that. I don’t quite know how I’m going to go about achieving this goal — maybe I will take time this Summer to reflect on who I am now, and on what brings me joy. All I do know is that I want to get my childish, carefree joy back.

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