Warmer weather means summer is fast approaching. The end of the school year is upon us once again. For a great majority of Keene State students, summer means returning back home, far away from the cushy lives we live while we are up at school.  It isn’t until we return back home for the summer do we realize how great we have it while we’re in school.

This return to a different form of reality can be a shock to most students, even upperclassmen. Sitting around lazily over the weekend, soaking up the warm weather and the good company of our friends is expected during the spring at Keene, but the time for these activities seems to dissipate when we return home for the summer.

During the year, classes are only a couple of hours a day, the rest of our time here is completely unstructured, giving most students hours of free time to kill as they see fit. Sleeping in until noon? No problem. Want to play a game of basketball? There are pickup games all the time, or even join an intramural team.  Need a job? Find a work-study position, or perhaps there is a part-time position for a few hours a week somewhere in town.  There is a never-ending array of new things to experiment with while on campus with all that free time.

Coming back home seems to take away all of this newfound free time. Days are filled with long hours at a job (or even jobs) that have little to nothing to do with our future. Once we enter college, our summers are consumed with saving up money to survive off of for the next school year or for our future.

Our money during the school year gets spent on snacks, drinks (sometimes even alcoholic) and anything we can justify spending our money on.  It’s not acceptable to spend $20 on Domino’s at midnight on a Friday when we are home for the summer.

Trips and other adventures put on by the school are generally a one-time cost; a small fee and you are off on an adventure. Activities during the summer require careful financial planning, considering the cost of gas, food, and activities. Hell, sometimes it’s a pain attempting to find the time and energy required to do fun stuff during the summer.

The logistics of returning home for the summer are difficult enough, but nothing compares to the social changes needed to return home. There are few parents who enjoy listening to their kids recount the previous nights’ debauchery, even fewer parents would probably know what we were talking about anyway.

Students have to clean up their foul language, lest strict parents or younger siblings overhear exactly what we think of that professor who gave us a bad grade. Censoring your stories for your parents and younger siblings comes with the territory. It’s almost like being back in high school.

Coming home for the summer is certainly an adjustment, but in a strange twist, it helps prepare us for the real world.

Most co-workers and bosses aren’t going to appreciate your killer “that’s what she said!” joke, nor are they going to enjoy hearing about last night and how “totally bombed” you were.

In the real world, it’s difficult to find the time and energy to participate in all the activities you might like to. College is one of the few places in life where we have the opportunity to take a stab at new activities.


Chelsea Mellin can be contacted at


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