Editorial: Finding the Silver Lining in Summer Cancellations

As Lawrenceville continues online-schooling, many of us are now planning for the summer break with uncertainty.

As Lawrenceville continues online-schooling, many of us are now planning for the summer break with uncertainty. Normally, this vacation gives us a much-needed break from academic work through activities such as going to the beach, playing video games, or visiting family, while also providing us with ample time to engage in important activities such as internships, summer camps, or study abroad opportunities. However, as COVID-19 continues to halt society in its tracks, many of these spring cancellations and postponements are creeping into the summer months of June, July, and August, consequently derailing our preliminary plans, both recreational and extracurricular. While it is certainly valid to feel dejected, there's still a silver lining to our dismay. Although we typically see these summer courses and internships as the prime way for us to either pursue our passions or demonstrate our involvement in extracurriculars, we can actually achieve the same goals within the confines of our homes. Instead of relying on group-centered sources, let's take initiative and create new opportunities for ourselves, such as starting individual projects. If we take matters into our own hands rather than attending uniformed courses tailored towards many students, our creativity and personal drive not only increase our appeal to college admissions but also prompt us to re-evaluate what we truly enjoy doing. Instead of seeing this time of isolation as a roadblock, we can view this as a great opportunity to experiment in our lives.

Creating our own programs or finding ways to continue what we intended to do during the summer demonstrates initiative, sincere passion, and resilience, making us stand out as unique individuals. Even if we cannot participate in these larger programs, making the most out of this time shows colleges that we are persistent and excited learners, despite the obstacles that try to deter us. Besides, universities actually want such characteristics of "intellectual vitality" in their applicants; Stanford University even centers its supplemental essay on that specific term.

Moreover, by taking this time to develop our own initiatives, we can also re-evaluate our interests. Sometimes, by looking at what our parents or peers do, it's easy for us to decide our future endeavors without truly experiencing what it's like to be in that particular field of study. For example, someone who wanted to become an entrepreneur may have a change in heart after starting his or her own start-up and understanding what the process demands. More often than not, these lightbulb-moments may not occur if we simply participate in a programmed summer course because those experiences are fabricated to fit a general group's needs rather than an individual's specific ones. Pursuing our own independent work gives us the chance to determine how invested we truly are in an activity and whether or not we really enjoy it.

Heading into a summer vacation largely devoid of group activities, we can learn to make the most out of the current situation by creating our own openings out of our own inspiration. Instead of viewing this isolation period as a roadblock to our original plans, let's see it as a period of both reflection and self-motivation.

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