An Introvert’s Summer

Hello, everyone! This blog post is meant to be a bit of a reflection on my summer thus far, a description of some of my plans for the future, and a way for me to set goals and expectations for myself. If you are at all interested in the happenings of this introverted college student, then please enjoy this post, and be aware that there will definitely be no mention of partying in the next thousand words or so of content. If you have no interest, I completely understand.


Summer of 2017 has been quite odd for me so far.

As I am taking a class this summer, I actually only had eleven days to relax before my focus was to return to schoolwork. And, being who I am, I basically spent all of that time psyching myself out about my future. Now that my five-week class is already almost halfway over (which is mind-boggling), I believe I am starting to develop a more level-headed schedule and perspective on this summer and forthcoming semesters. All of these kinds of plans from the past few weeks are ones I hope to elaborate on, and possibly even perpetuate moving forward.

First of all, I should discuss the class I am currently enrolled in. Essentially the entire class is focused on planning a fictitious meeting; I am finding this project to be both fun and challenging. The quality of my planning is incredibly subjective, and this fact is definitely requiring me to rationalize myself through research and be comfortable asking for advice. As such, office hours will almost surely be taken advantage of (as per usual), along with utilization of my love of rationalizing and persuasion. Who knew that I would be spending my summer researching the trends in marriage of the 35-50 age group? The answer to that question is “my professor,” I suppose.

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The cork board I am using to plan the meeting

Since I am only taking that one class this summer, I have been trying to manage my time effectively. My temptation to awkwardly utilize my time (hello, “Time Management Mania” post) is definitely apparent, but segmenting my ample time for different activities and writing out plans as for what to accomplish every day are strategies proving to be quite useful.

For example, I have been trying to read a lot this summer, particularly outside, and I hope to continue this trend of mine. Upon recommendation by a book-loving acquaintance, I have now read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, both of which I greatly enjoyed. (If anyone has any recommendations for me to read next, please bring them to my attention.) Basically, what I try to do is appreciate the wonderful weather, and take some time to myself by reading a great novel and/or the textbook for my aforementioned class, at least until I grow tired of bugs attacking me. Anyway, I am hoping to continue to explore fiction and “the classics” to a fair extent this summer, although my fascination with non-fiction will likely incarnate itself too.

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My view while reading outside

Another activity I have enjoyed for years is simply taking walks. For me, there is not anything more relaxing and rejuvenating than taking a walk, especially while listening to some of my favorite podcasts and music. Making time for these somewhat leisurely walks is something I am really working hard to do; even just twenty minutes away from my work usually seems to be worth the original hassle. My favorite walking destinations, by the way, are various forest preserves, my neighborhood, and a park in which I spent much of my childhood. And despite the fact that sundown is my favorite time to walk (see the slideshow below), afternoons and early evenings will continue to be my most common times for this “hobby” of mine.

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A nice, crooked image of the park

Once my summer-term class is over, I am going to have much more time on my hands. Consequently, I am thinking about volunteering at a new & local business that supports issues that I truly care about. The concept of a college student spending a summer volunteering instead of finding an actual job may seem completely antithetical, and it may truly be that way, but I think that volunteering will be a great way for me to ease my way into sectors that are interesting to me. I become easily overwhelmed, so being able to have a reasonable amount of control on my schedule will definitely be helpful. I mean, how am I supposed to avoid a place that supports great causes, makes wonderful coffee (I tried their Caffè Americano, and it was delicious), and is local? If this idea really is not valuable, though, feel free to let me know.

Both throughout the duration of my class and for the rest of the summer, I know for sure that I will continue to keep this blog of mine active. Taking some time during each and every week to write out my thoughts & worries, try out ideas of mine, make journal-like posts, and look into topics I am interested in is something I find an almost inconceivable amount of value in. As a result, I am continuing to plan out future blog posts and how I want to share them.

One major topic that I hope to write about more in the future is the hospitality industry. The industry is my main area of study, and my desire to write about the hotel industry specifically in the future is compelling me to put a lot of effort into creating some well-researched blog posts. Additionally, future visits to local and urban locations are events I hope will inspire me to write about hotels and my fascination with them.

Overall, though future writing endeavors, I really hope to improve my analytical skills. To be honest, reading through analyses recently, such as those involving the aforementioned novels, has made me feel insecure about my ability to simply have independent thought. Presumably, my ability to quickly gauge the opinions and analyses of those superior to me (age-wise and academically) through the internet is the source of my inhibition toward pushing myself to conjure up and support my thoughts. Let me just say that I do have a draft of a blog post about this internal debate of mine…

Also, in case anyone was not aware, I developed an idea of sorts a couple of weeks ago, as described in my post entitled “The Community College Conversation.” I have a history of coming up with somewhat ambitious ideas, becoming far too excited about them, and then finally realizing that they are not that great a while later; thus, I spent some time with the idea, and have stepped away from it since then. I actually created a “demo” of a podcast of the same name a few days after I published the post, but I am still unsure as to what to do with the concept I have created. Being told that no one would care about it has not helped my confidence with my idea, as these statements have only exacerbated my fear of it being completely self-servicing, but I still have some hope. By the end of this summer, I hope to make a decision, and thus take action, and I will welcome any ideas presented me until then.

As a whole, something is noticeable to me throughout this post of mine: I am intimidated by reaching out to others, particularly those I can talk to in person. I feel completely comfortable asking questions to potential readers, but pushing myself to ask for the opinions and advice of others, whether the request is in regards to academics or even projects on the internet, causes apprehension to arise in me. By writing out this post, though, I hope that I will have even more motivation to achieve my goals and make the best decisions for myself.

Here are some other goals of mine for the remainder of the summer, which I do not believe to necessitate much explanation:

  • Work on my knitting project, which has been in progress for years
  • Develop a more consistent yoga schedule
  • Watch Big Brother, of course
  • Listen to the insane amount of new music being released
  • Enjoy listening to podcasts
  • Take trips to the city
  • Enjoy my birthday (and possibly ask for a domain as my present)
  • Interact with other human beings my age (what a concept)
  • Do not have too many existential crises
  • Figure out my academic path to a further extent

Well, everyone, I now have to finish up preparations for a hotel site inspection I am conducting today. (Like I said, this class is a lot of work.) If anyone has any recommendations or thoughts for me, please let me know. Also, I would love to hear about your summer plans, even if you are not an introvert as I am!

Have a wonderful summer!

(Additionally, I must note my awareness that I am incredibly lucky and privileged to have the opportunity to plan out a generally relaxing summer.)

-Stephanie

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