I like to think that summer doesn’t officially start until I make my summer playlist on Spotify. And as soon as I finished adding my songs, I took a good look at the campus I had become so familiar with over the course of the past year. Something seemed different, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

They say that the summers in Evanston make the cold winters bearable. The winters can be a little trying, with the wind challenging every step you take against them, and the chill fighting through every layer you have under your down jacket. But as soon as those temperatures rise back up into the 70s, all memory of those cold days faded away. My first day walking from my apartment to work, I found myself raising my arms up above my head, soaking up the warm sunrays. I couldn’t even imagine Evanston being covered in snow and ice, I felt so warm.

There is something magical in the way summer works, especially after long winters. People feel the need to get outside, and sunlight and warmth become just as important as air itself. Even people that just want to watch Netflix will find ways to be outside while they watch their favorite show. Maybe what I love most is seeing people going for a run with their dog, biking along the Lakefill, or even just walking by the lake. No matter what, everyone finds a way to get outside.

It’s been nice that so many of my activities allow me to be outside. So far, my summer has consisted of working as a tour guide in the visitors’ center and going to rehearsals for HAIR, the summer mainstage musical at the Wirtz Center for Performing Arts. This nice change of pace from the regular academic year hasn’t stopped me from thinking about what sophomore year holds in store for me. Having completed my first year, perhaps I’ll be more confident of my place here at Northwestern. Or maybe I’ll take that 200 level Psychology course that my friends talked about last year. Maybe I’ll explore more of downtown Chicago. Because I’m here on campus, I am constantly finding myself thinking about my next adventure here at Northwestern. But until that adventure rolls around, it’s nice to take some time to just relax. So much of my life is about being on the go, running from activity to activity to activity, that it’s refreshing to simply enjoy these summer days.

Until fall quarter arrives, I suggest that we all observe the warm glow of summer and do our best to unwind for a little. It can be as simple as watching a sunset, because there’s something about how the beauty of a sunrise can make time stop around you, as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.

–Alex Rothfield

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