Home for the summer



We are officially in the thick of summertime. This is my first spent in my hometown in a long while. Sure, I have lived and worked in Genesee County for close to a year now, but I had been up at Central Michigan University for the last four summers, surrounded by people my age aching to party at any given hour.

While I was never much of a partier, I do lament not being able to explore my college town during the warmest months of the year. Being at home is hard to adjust to — where are all the screaming students? The bottles splayed across lawns? The bustling weekends and the carefree weeknights?

Once out of school it is hard not to be nostalgic for these things. I am turning 25 on Sunday — or, in harsher terms, a quarter century old — and have never felt more of an urge to connect with people my age. Perhaps if my college years had been more social this would all be well out of the system.

But I refuse to let a bout of summertime sadness follow me around for three months. If I am going to be at home, it is best to make the most of it. We are already in July; the fall months are close ahead. Why waste this precious time?

Once I moved past the initial phase of yearning to be anywhere else, it started to dawn on me: all the ingredients for a memorable summer are right in front of me.

To start, I get to spend more time reconnecting with family.

During the colder seasons, while my two younger brothers are up at school, it is more difficult to motivate myself to head over to my dad’s in Linden or my mom’s in Fenton. It is, in fact, hard to get me out of the house at all. The summer offers a lot more options for bonding time.

When a minimal social circle is all that is in your current spot, reaching out to family can often be the best cure. In most cases, nobody knows you better.

I can also spice things up a bit for myself before the return to flannels and jackets.

Perhaps I will take some of the birthday money over the next week and get my first tattoo, or take a small day trip to somewhere I have never been. Going to the gym five days a week has already proven beneficial as a way to fend off feelings of isolation.

Maybe I will do an open mic night set at the bar down the street, or message distant friends I have fallen out of contact with.

The point is to never dwell on the small stuff for too long. I could sit in the house thinking about all the changes coming my way, but I would rather tackle this transition into full-blown adulthood in more productive ways.

Putting the fun on pause will not solve anything. stunningley@mihomepaper.com

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