Setting summer goals seems like a great way to ensure productivity. However, these goals don’t always go according to plan. With the summer heat still bearing down at the beginning of the semester, APN’s staff reflects on what they checked off their summer bucket lists — as well as what they didn’t get to.
Walking into the summer of 2018, my bucket list was brimming with carefree, electrifying and unrealistic ideas that I did nothing with.
I dedicated the summer of 2018 to my palate. I went on an international food tour with my cousin, a Culinary Arts Institute graduate. Going around Belfast, Ireland, we tried each eatery inside the span of Belfast’s city center. The food of Northern Ireland was far from ordinary. Duck and crab cakes with a crisp strawberry lemonade drink decorated with a slice of cucumber. It was the ideal mixed drink on a summer night. A burger and potato wedges joined by my cousin’s salmon. Everything was beyond satisfying. The entire experience overwhelmed my brain and took my taste buds on a delicious ride.
A couple meals from Belfast. Photos by Victoria Torres.
What I wish I’d done this summer was spend more time with my grandparents. Cooking arroz con gandules with my abuela in the scalding kitchen brings back nostalgic memories. Or my favorite, helping my abuelo delete his phone text messages, He’s not exactly tech savvy. This last year has taught me that every day is not guaranteed, and I’ve learned to appreciate the time I have.
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Sophia DeVito and Paige Bergeron in New Jersey. Photo taken by Angela DeVito.
Every single summer for as long as I can remember, my family has vacationed in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. It is one of my favorite places to visit. This summer, like every other, we spent a long week in the Jersey sun. It is was even more memorable because I brought my best friend with me. Paige and I have known each other since we were babies. I couldn’t think of a better person to spend a week with than her. She makes me laugh like no other and we get along like sisters, because she basically is my sister. That was one of my favorite trips because it was spent with the best kind of people.
Something I didn’t get around to doing this summer was visiting my friends who live on Long Island. Each semester as we say our goodbyes, we promise to visit each other and spend time on the beach catching up. This summer, like every one that I’ve known my friends, I didn’t make it to LI. I had an internship this summer that consumed most of my days. I also had a job that took up a lot of my free time. I’d spend my free time during the week with my friends and family who I don’t get to see often because nine months out of the year I spend at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Overall, this summer was short and sweet just like I intended it to be. I soaked up the sun, made a few extra bucks and spent quality time making memories with my favorite people. I couldn’t have asked for a better summer to kick start my senior year of college.
Janelle and her mother, Danielle. Photo taken by Mike Brassard.
At the beginning of every summer, I imagine all my dreams magically coming true: get skinny, get rich, get the guy, and while we’re at it, let’s throw in a ‘Princess Diaries’ style makeover! Of course, that’s not how my summer turned out.
Unfortunately, most things you want to accomplish require you to pause Netflix and put in some effort, which hasn’t been my forte recently. Instead of talking to my crush, I would stalk his Facebook profile. Instead of losing weight, I ate my weight’s worth in ice cream. I think it’s safe to say I spent the first portion of my summer living in denial of the fact that things don’t change unless you do.
However, I did begin to see the light after seeking some advice from my favorite therapist and the wisest woman I know: my mother. My mom and I have always been close, often comparing our relationship to that of Rory and Lorelai from “Gilmore Girls.” She has a knack for guiding me in the right direction without making me feel forced into a situation. She’s a modern Grandmother Willow (shoutout to those who get that reference). After expressing my frustration over things that were seemingly out-of-control, my mom reminded me that anything can be changed with a little self-respect and discipline. In short, I spent my summer remembering the significance of mental strength, while spending some well-needed TLC with my mom, and that makes all the things unobtained feel so small.
GOT7 performed Wednesday, July 11, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, as part of the group’s “Eyes on You” 2018 world tour. Photo by Safire R. Sostre.
Over the summer, aside from staying in bed to rest, I went to a couple of concerts.
The first concert I went to was on Tuesday, June 26, for Paramore. This concert was just one of many that the alternative rock group held for its “After Laughter” summer tour. The opening acts were Foster the People and Soccer Mommy, which are two groups I’m not too familiar with, but enjoyed listening to nonetheless. This was my first time ever seeing the group, as well as attending the particular venue—the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good time at this concert because of the annoying people around me. I also wasn’t familiar with the setup of the venue, so I ended up sitting in a terrible section.
The second concert I went to was on Wednesday, July 11, for Korean boy group GOT7, a group I’ve seen once before two summers ago. This event was also held at the Barclays Center. Of the two concerts I attended, this one was my favorite because I sat in a better section, and because k-pop is my go-to genre of music.
I wish I had simply gone outside more this summer. I spent most of my summer resting in bed, because I was trying to recuperate from ongoing health issues, so I wasn’t able to go out often, hang out with old friends or explore the city. I also couldn’t work or volunteer, which limited my ability to afford any traveling or shopping I needed to do. Instead of being stuck at home most of the time, I wish I could have had fun at the beach or visited a new place.
A photo of Kiana Myers. Photo by Shawna Myers.
This summer had been particularly more hectic than past ones. Juggling an internship and a part-time summer job with full-time hours, my summer was filled with nothing but work. Don’t get me wrong though, the internship was fantastic. Getting into the field of journalism was eye-opening. Meeting people from all walks of life made me realize that this is, in fact, the career for me.
The best part was writing articles and hearing the public respond to them. Luckily, it was all positive. It was a thrill to get messages from strangers about how helpful my article was and even asking me to report on other events happening in town. With all this positive outpour came a great load of responsibility. Working 30 hours at one job and 10 at the other left virtually no social time. My free time was spent eating and catching up on sleep.
Unfortunately, a promise for a week-long camping trip with a friend was broken. We had planned during the 2018 spring semester that she and I would visit a trail in the Adirondack mountains called The Tupper Lake Triad. This trail spans across three mountains: Mount Arab, Coney Mountain and Goodman Mountain. We had planned to dedicate a week to hiking and sleeping in the woods. We decided that this week would be a good break from our daily lives. All the supplies were bought ahead of time —water purifiers, hammocks, hiking boots, etc. —but when July rolled around, I was far too busy to even think about taking a week off from my strict schedule.
Without taking this trip, I had just reached the required amount of hours needed to get all three credits for my internship and had made enough money to be able to afford the books I would need for the upcoming semester. While I had wished summer lasted one more week so I could enjoy the trails and the smell of the Adirondacks, I’m happy with how my summer turned out.
Yue at Mantanani Island, Malaysia. Photo by Zhuoer Xu.
This summer I travelled to Malaysia with my roommate from Plattsburgh. I grew up in Shanghai, a city just like New York City, that has high-rise buildings and little natural scenery. I have always yearned for the ocean, the beach and the rainforest. This summer, my dream came true. I went snorkeling and fishing in the sea. I also took a speedboat to shuttle between the rainforests to find fireflies. I enjoyed it so much. When I was in nature, I was extremely relaxed and forgot all my stress and problems. I think I can even sit alone at the beach for a day without touching my phone. In the future, I will find time to get close to nature at least once a year.
In the past year, my headaches have become more serious. It happens more frequently. The doctor said that my lack of exercise is one of the reasons, so I signed up for a yoga class and set a goal to go at least twice a week. But by the end of the summer, I only went 13 times. I had a few excuses: too busy with my internship, hanging out with my friends and traveling too much. I’m really hoping next time I can stop making excuses for my laziness.