My summer is officially over. Last Friday, I moved into my first apartment and started working in the residence halls for my second year Sunday. My summer was busy, and it flew by with work and preparing for my apartment. Although I did not set goals for myself, I think I had a very productive and fulfilling summer which I’m excited to share with you.
If you’ve read my Goals page, you’ll know that I find setting goals extremely inspiring and necessary for improvement. At the beginning of this summer, I did not set goals for myself. I knew I would be busy with work and was not sure how much time I would have for other things. Still, I had a few end-objectives in mind.
Because I knew I would be moving into an apartment this year, I needed to save money. Luckily, at my job, I was making $10.25 an hour (more than $3 the minimum wage here in Indiana!!) and working 40 hours a week. At first, I was putting away half of my paychecks, but between bills and other financial obligations this made my pocket really tight, so I started saving between $80-$100 a week. Because of this, I saved over $1,200 for my apartment this summer! Although I did already spend most of it. I had to buy a kitchen table, a coffee table, a couch, kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies…and this list goes on and on. Moving into your first apartment is expensive!
I love to travel to new places. There’s something about saying, “Yeah, I’ve been there,” that is so satisfying and interesting to me. Long car rides are my favorite, and I can stare out the window for hours just watching the scenery go by. When my boyfriend mentioned that he wanted to go to Pittsburgh, a place that I had never been before, I jumped at the chance and started packing my bags. I wrote about my Pittsburgh recap here, but I want to share a few of my favorite memories from that trip.
Driving to Pittsburgh, along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, it is super hilly. The area was gorgeous and my boyfriend and I talked about moving out there one day in the far future. I discovered downtown Pittsburgh by myself, which is something I never would have done before. It gave me great confidence and being in between such large buildings made me feel so insignificant but powerful at the same time. My last favorite memory is when my boyfriend and I went to a comedy show. I had never seen my boyfriend laugh so hard, and it really made my day to see him that happy.
I was able to spend a good amount of time with my boyfriend this summer. To tell you the truth, it’s already so hard for both of us to be away from one another. But I know that it will only make our time together even more precious when we do get to see one another. He has been a bit of a blessing to me for the past week. I was in a car wreck and my car is not drivable, so having him be able to take me food shopping and driving me to and from places while we were still together was extremely helpful.
One place where I didn’t excel in relationships was with my parents. Because I spent so much time with my boyfriend, I really neglected to spend much quality time with them. I had a really hard time balancing the two this past summer. This upcoming semester, I know I’ll need to work on that part of my life and am so happy that my parents are willing to work with me on it.
What I learned
I learned a few things over the past few months, and I am so happy and lucky that I had the chance to do so. With my job, I learned how to talk on the phone. It was something that I dreaded for years. A lot of the people I called were extremely nice and would work with me while I helped them, and that gave me a lot of confidence to move forward in the future with telephones.
With my relationships, I learned I need to balance better, and maybe plan out times to spend with my specific relationship groups. For example, now that I’m back in school and living in an apartment, I’m going to have to figure out how to balance spending time with my boyfriend who lives over an hour away, my friends especially since I now live with one of them, my family since I’ve moved out and don’t plan on visiting every single weekend possible, and whatever other relationships that will develop over the semester.
With money, I learned that while it’s good to save, if you are working that hard all the time you are going to burn out. It’s okay to spend a little bit on yourself and make sure that you are happy and healthy. With working so much, it got to the point where I was so depressed because I felt like that’s all I was doing. I had to learn that saving all my money isn’t very healthy nor is spending it all. Instead of blowing all my money, I would go out and buy things I knew I would need for my apartment (shower curtain, kitchen timer, hanging mirror, etc.) so I would be spending money I saved for my apartment on my apartment, but it still allowed me the satisfaction of buying something.