Since being at UCLA the way I view summer has changed drastically.  When I was in grade school I anxiously waited for summer vacation because it meant more time to hang out with friends and less time spent on homework.  Now, I have mixed feelings about summer.  One one hand I love it! The weather is nice, I have no homework, and can explore LA.  On the other hand, it can be an interesting time of transition.

This is my second summer spent in LA.  While I have thoroughly enjoyed both of my summers, I always look forward to the end of the summer because it means all of my friends will be returning to UCLA.  It is at the end of summer that I will finally be reunited with my friends who went home for the summer or went overseas.  This summer I had friends in Japan, Italy, Bolivia, Hawaii, and various other locations.   During the school year we all have homework and clubs and work, but we always find ways to hang out…even if that just means studying in the same location.  We also always make sure find times for our “family dinners” when we get together and cook dinner together- some of our more ambitious meals have been jambalaya, shepherd’s pie, and bacon fried rice!  The start of the school year means the start of a new year with my friends.  Some of my favorite times at UCLA have been the few days before classes start when my friends and I can swap summer stories without the burden of school work.

Does this mean that summer is depressing and lonely? By no means!  The summer after my first year I was in Ft. Collins, CO on a trip.  After my second and third years I was in LA and enjoyed getting to know people in a different setting.  Between my friends, my friends’ friends, and subleasers in apartments both of these LA summers have been eclectic in terms of community.  I have had some wonderful adventures and made many new friends.

But summer is a transition.  At the beginning of summer I moved into a new apartment and in a week two of my roommates are moving out to start living in “the real world”.  While I am going to miss them so much, I am excited for the new beginnings that they are getting ready to face.  We celebrated the end of summer and their finding jobs last night by making homemade enchiladas and playing apples to apples…and talking about Miley Cyrus at the VMAs!

Every ending is a new beginning and I cannot wait to see what this new chapter holds.