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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
Alice Yang is a student at Columbia University. She can be reached at gy2151@ Columbia.edu.
This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

A Summer State of Mind


Summer is coming to an end, another sun-spotted timeless memory of blurry days that melt into week and weeks that melt into months. Certain images are clearer than others: swimming in the neighborhood pool watching the sun rays make soundless waves on the ocean floor. Driving with cool blasts of AC on my skin and frequent water mirages on the open road. Sleeping whenever my eyelids decide to close and hearing the beautiful silence of a humid Houston night. And of course, friends, their laughter, their smiles, and the inevitable summer goodbye.

As September approaches and everyone gets ready for another school year, a nervous anxiety hangs onto students who have made summer a lifestyle. The carefree days of sun and friends will be once again replaced by the structure and order of work, school, and other activities. It feels like two different worlds, one of lazy lounging and the other of busy schedules, and it is this shift, this change in lifestyle, thatís the hardest.

As my friend Kellen realized the week before school, the end of summerís especially sad because friends are going away. A summer that has united so many of us to take spontaneous shopping trips to Montrose, chill without a care for time at local coffee shops, and just look forward to the next unplanned day with pleasure and no stress---itís summer that has made our friendships grow.

But now, with people going to different colleges, some near some far away from home, once again, the palpable shift of surroundings will push each of us into new situations and people and away from summer.

Change is inevitable and the only healthy way to deal is to welcome it with open arms. As humans, we long for the comfort of permanence and build our lives trying to preserve it. Yet the different stages of life, like summers, come and go, and the only way to hold on is to be excited about the next stage. Parents go through this stage when they see their kids go off to college; kids go through this stage as they leave home for the first time. Iím feeling the change as yet another summer has slipped quietly out of my life, and itís almost time to leave Houston for New York.

In a world where time flies and environments change, the only non-blurry objects in life are loved ones. Friends, family, and the people that matter the most---they help ground me and give meaning to my life. Sharing experiences, delightful conversations, comfortable silences and the everyday joys of the world, knowing someone and growing together and facing changes while holding on to each other is my way of preserving permanence in a transient world. Itís keeping summer alive, corked and bottled like Dandelion Wine, and the longer the time, the richer the taste.

And so it is with friends. Leaving a blissful summer together behind is hard, but to have met such amazing people, to have shared such fun experiences, and to look forward to keeping in touch throughout the school year despite the distances, is to keep summer alive always, in a small place in our hearts and make summer not just a season, but a state of mind.

Dedicated to Kellen and Mrs. Riccobono, Lily, Rebecca and all my summer friends at work, Tamanna and other old friends back in Houston. ---Til next summer, with love.

Alice Yang is a student at Columbia University.
She can be reached at gy2151@ Columbia.edu.

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   Last Update:  August 27, 2008