Summer is the time to relish on life’s greatest joys; to relax, unwind and most importantly, sleep in. Even those who choose to sign up for classes agree that a lovely summer vibe is still in the air. Breaks serve as perfect chances to think about things that are usually cluttered by the due dates swirling in our brains.
“I’ll be staying on campus this summer,” said Katelyn Lindsay, a junior theater major at Florida Gulf Coast University. “I’m taking a class to finish up my associate of arts degree, and I’ll be working at Rita’s while I do that.” She is also planning to visit various campsites around Florida with her girlfriend and their families. Many students, like Lindsay, are able to maintain the perfect balance of academics, employment and summer festivities.
Some are lucky enough to find enjoyment in the responsibilities they’ll be taking on over summer break. Sophomore Benjamin Winder has his hands full as he is a nursing major and a member of FGCU’s powerlifting team, and not much is changing over summer. “I’m training for future competitions, and I plan on taking some classes back home,” Winder says. “On top of that, I’m looking for work as well.” While this may sound like a hectic vacation to most, Winder has a strong passion for health, both in the gym and in the clinic.
In some ways, summer jobs are the best jobs to get, as long as they are the right ones. Restaurant workers often find themselves leaving early most days, but business picks up at pools and amusement parks. It’s the optimal time of the year for tourist attractions, such as Disney World and South Beach, because students finally get the opportunity to be stress-and-responsibility-free for a few months. These are the places to be over the summer because both the customers and the workers are able to revel in the unavoidable fun.
Julia Athas, a second-year FGCU psychology major, has loved her job at Universal since she started working there in June 2013. “I’m working pretty much all summer,” Athas said, smiling. “But it’s Universal, so it’s always exciting. I basically get paid to enjoy myself at the theme park.” Money is the motive for Athas this summer. When she’s not working in the animated entertainment department at Universal, she will be babysitting to earn some extra money on the side.
The reality of entering adulthood is realizing that summer isn’t quite what it used to be. While vacationers still make time to swarm beaches and hop on planes over break, most have to squeeze fun into their schedule between summer classes and jobs. Nonetheless, students already begin to look forward to sweet summer by the time fall semester rolls around. Before college, the thought of staying in school over summer would make stomachs lurch and heads bang against walls. The great thing about FGCU is that it feels like a second home where best friends are neighbors and the backyard is a waterfront. Wherever you end up, soar safely, Eagles!