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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Don’t ‘break’ from learning this summer

Two and a half weeks ago, I packed my bags and embarked on a life-changing journey to a distant land far, far away.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it felt that way at the time—especially judging by the size and weight of my suitcases.

In reality, two and a half weeks ago, I relocated from Sandusky, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio, to begin a 12-week reporting internship with The Columbus Dispatch.

For those of you who aren’t journalism junkies like me, the Dispatch is one of Ohio’s largest newspapers, located across the street from the state capital building in the heart of downtown.

Needless to say, I wasn’t going to let the opportunity to work there pass me by.

May 14, my internship start date, lingered in the back of my mind for the past several months. Fighting nerves and butterflies and finally stepping into the newsroom that day was an incredible rush, because the scene was no longer just an imagined scenario; it was reality.

In just two weeks at the Dispatch, I’ve learned so much from my colleagues.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to refine my writing skills this summer with such a talented, knowledgeable group of journalists.

My summer learning, however, doesn’t stop with journalism. Relocating to a new city has taught me a lot about myself, too.

I’m training myself to be a morning person because a “real world” schedule is much less malleable than a college schedule. I’ve learned to appreciate furniture, something my apartment in Dublin, Ohio, doesn’t include.

Through an unfortunate fender bender incident this past week, I’ve learned I need to improve my driving skills (as well as how expensive it is to repair a car).

Although I’ve been stressed throughout the transition process this past couple weeks, by challenging myself this summer, I know I’ll come out a stronger person in the end.

And despite what my professors probably want to hear, a summer out-of-classroom experience is a much more valuable asset to my education than just hitting the textbooks.

While in high school, I remember my classmates referring to summer as a “break” or “vacation.” Some of us, like me, worked at summer jobs, but life was undoubtedly simpler.

In college, I don’t hear many of my peers referring to summer months in the same way.

With age, I believe our outlook on summer has changed—and for the better. For most of us, summer isn’t a break anymore. It’s an opportunity to extend our learning, often outside of the classroom, through co-ops, internships or other jobs.

No matter where you are this summer, I urge you to continue learning, no matter what type.

Don’t get comfortable. Challenge yourself and expand your horizons, whether you’re taking college courses, working for rent money or preparing yourself for your future career.

Nonetheless, still make time for fun. You’ll appreciate the fun times more when they’re reserved for a special occasion, rather than a daily routine.

And through a balance of work and play, your summer will be both beneficial and memorable.

Less than 90 days of summer remain until fall semester begins. How will you spend yours?

Respond to Alissa at

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