Alternative title — The post-summer depression is real
Public Service Announcement
This (somewhat sappy) blog post is best read listening to Closing Time by Semisonic or Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day.
Dear Twenty Somethings,
Does anyone else wake up the day after something ends to an intense ball of anxiety, twinged with a bit of sadness in your gut? Just me? Cool. I’m good at a lot of things — having unrequited crushes, being single, adulting — but accepting endings is not one of them. You would think that I would be, having worked at a summer camp for years but alas, here we are. So, like any good millennial, I decided to write about my feelings and share them with the internet who probably could care less.
The “Graduating and Facing the Real World” Ending
I never really thought about endings until I graduated from my undergrad. The morning I was moving out of my rental was the first time I became acquainted with waking up to that anxious and depressing “everything is ending” feeling. I had spent five years living in Windsor, making friends and building a pretty great life for myself. I had even met a pretty great guy with only a few months of school left, so needless to say, I didn’t want to leave. I can still vividly remember crying on the chair in my basement bedroom, the only time I’ve cried in front of a boy and the only boy who’s ever cried for me, not wanting to move. It was the first time in my life where everything was uncertain — my friendships, my career, my relationship. What would the real world hold? Who would hire me? What would living at home for the first time in five years be like? Would I hold on to my friendships?
As the questions swirled about in my head, I knew life was about to change and I could embrace it, or wallow in it. For a while, I chose the latter. I couldn’t find a job, my relationship and friendships fell apart and living at home was quite the adjustment. It was easy to get stuck in a rut, hating that things ended, unable (or unwilling) to accept the ends as they came. It was an ending that made me feel hopeless, lost and uncertain, as most endings tend to do. Eventually, I embraced the change and moved on. The facing the real world ending happened again when I graduated from teachers college but having overcome the first, endings didn’t seem so bad until…
The “Summer Camp” Ending
Anyone who ever has worked at a summer camp knows the post-camp feeling. Spending days and weeks at a time, isolated from the outside world, eating, sleeping and spending hours on end with the same people, camp becomes a little bubble of happiness and deep friendships (not to mention becoming sleep deprived). Then summer comes to an end and the bubbles burst. You have to say goodbye to the staff and campers, who at that point have become a little family. Suddenly, friends who were a two-minute walk away are thousands of miles away. You finally get to sleep in your own bedroom but you miss the comfort of falling asleep surrounded by people you care about.
My first year of camp was the first time I really experienced post-summer depression. Let me tell you – it’s not a fun feeling. Questioning if your friendships will survive outside the bubble. Waking up in the middle of the night panicked that something’s wrong because it’s too quiet. Counting down the days until you’re home again. The best part – going back to camp. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end but it didn’t feel that way when it came to an end after a very rough 2017. When the news came that I wouldn’t be going back to camp, it was a much harder ending. Knowing all my friends would be going back to the place that I loved had me feeling alone, scared that all my camp friends would forget me and the real FOMO that I felt only made slightly better when I secured a summer internship. Which brings us to the last ending…
The “Internship is Over and You Actually Have to Face the Real World” Ending
This summer was one for the record books. Despite a little bit of stress, a whole lot of lack of sleep and barely having any weekends to myself, the learning experience, a little chance to travel (honestly, Medicine Hat is better than you would think!) and maybe something cute to look at made it worthwhile. All jokes aside, while testing my sanity, this summer internship proved to me that I’m capable of being a true PR professional. Even though I wish it wasn’t coming to an end, and yes a bit of sadness and some of that gut-wrenching anxiety still persist, I’m starting to feel better about endings. As Closing Time plays softly in the background, I finally feel Semisonic when they said “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” See, the thing about endings( DEEP, SAPPY ALERT) is that you can hold on to the fear of the unknown and the sadness of a fond time of your life coming to an end. But, if things didn’t end then newer, better things couldn’t begin. Maybe this ending signifies a better beginning. “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right, I hope you had the time of your life.”