Student embraces summer freedom, encourages spontaneity

Ellie Mizell

There comes a time in the year when the longing for summer vacation is unbearable. For some, it may be months before the last day of school, but for others, it’s the day of. And then summer comes out of nowhere — one day you’re starting the first day of school, and the next you’re on your last. It almost doesn’t feel real that this beautiful thing called summer is finally here. The time of late mornings and even later nights, lakes, beaches, friends, trips, and most importantly, no homework or stress from school.

Anywhere from staying home to traveling the world, everyone has his/her own plan for the break. Going out of the country is a very special thing not everyone gets to do, but that doesn’t mean staying home can’t be fun either. Living in Austin, we really take advantage of how extraordinary this city is. Something fun to do this summer is act like a tourist and do the fun things that you normally wouldn’t do while living here. Go to Barton Springs, Hamilton Pool, Lady Bird Lake, Blues on the Green, Sno Beach, even take a picture by the “I love you so much” sign on Jo’s coffee shop on South Congress (if you want to get really touristy.) The list goes on and on. Austin is an interesting city filled with many things to do, and summer is the best time for us to explore it.

At the beginning of last summer, I didn’t really have many plans, so I figured it would be my “chill” summer. However, a few spontaneous decisions turned my stay-at-home vacation into a five-week extravaganza of packing and unpacking, and traveling to different places.

I wasn’t planning on going to summer camp this past summer, until the day before when I decided I couldn’t stand not going back. I absolutely love it. I love staying in a wood cabin on the lake, with no air conditioning, crammed together with 12 other girls. It’s not everyone’s thing, but it’s what I most look forward to every year. I spend three weeks of the year at Camp Champions in Marble Falls, and I spend the next 49 missing it. I’ve made relationships that’ll last a lifetime and memories that’ll last even longer. Some people think taking three weeks out of my summer to do something like that is wasting my time, but I wouldn’t rather spend it anywhere else.

After three weeks on Lake LBJ filled with tons of laughs and very little sleep, I had a one-day break and then went to Maui, Hawaii. Hawaii is easily the most beautiful place I have ever been. When we first arrived after a long and unbearable eight-hour flight, we were welcomed by a sunset that filled the sky with every color you could imagine. I don’t normally get sentimental about little things like these, but this was a sunset that deserved to be on a postcard. I felt special to be able to experience something like that.

I had the summer of a lifetime. But the coolest thing was that none of this was planned until summer even started. I learned that cool experiences don’t have to be planned day for day — some of the most amazing things will come spontaneously. That’s why I’m heading into this summer knowing that the best things will come out of nowhere. Enjoy the time you have away from school and take adventures you wouldn’t take otherwise.