Let's be honest. When you think about the summer before your first year of college, working is not the first word that comes to mind.

I thought this summer would consist of friends, family and fun in the sun. But it is actually more of a balancing act than I expected. I knew I would work during the summer to put a few bucks in the ole college fund, but I never realized how draining work behind a computer for six to eight hours a day could be.

I imagined that this summer would be the best one on record for me because I had no summer school, no homework, no test prep courses and no summer reading. But it came with its own set of limitations: A job.

What I pictured were adventure days just driving to the beach to lounge around, countless sleepless sleepovers to talk and watch action movies and exploring new cafes, because who doesn't love a chai latte and delicious baked goods? I thought that the summer was sufficient time to see everyone I wanted and do everything imaginable before going off to Pennsylvania. 

I do, however, have time to be with my friends, but the whole my-free-time-has-to-match-with-your-free-time shenanigans never crossed my mind. So the time I have is definitely not enough. I thought, when I'm free, I'll see my friends, but my friends also work, so it wasn't that simple. 

Making time for them while also making sure that I am awake for the days of work I put in during the week was a little complicated. I wanted to be sure that I was seeing them, but I am also obligated to do my best while I am on the clock.

I assumed that this summer would be the ultimate way to do everything I wanted, but as the end of July approaches, my clock in Illinois is running out of time, and I realized that it now feels like playing catch up with the clock.

It seems as though I don't have enough time to see everyone: My best friends, my old friends who have known me forever, the friends I only see once in a while and my family as well.  There are so many people I want to spend time with, but this summer is not completely carefree because I have responsibilities.

Every second counts and every moment you have to see friends and hang out with family should be used. I want to end my summer with no regrets, and although I do have some things that I did not foresee, I want to make the most of what I do have. 

It is important to leave one place the right way in order to step into the next phase with your best foot forward.

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