Leafy Campanile

Opinion columnist Jalen Collier prompts students to welcome the change that autumn brings.


For the first time in my life, with autumn approaching and classes in full swing, I won’t miss summer. In fact, I think that it would be a good idea for everyone to forget the summer and focus on the here and now.

I can remember a time when I would anxiously wait for summer to begin. Summer to me was always a time to spend time with your friends, stay up late watching movies, eat junk food, and laugh until the sun came up. The summer was when you went to the pool all day and loved every second of it.

During summer, you would eat soft pretzels and ice cream while you battled your parents to not put more sunscreen on. Summer was always filled with long car rides to exotic places with only a book or Game Boy to combat boredom. That is what summer was for me, and I loved every second of it.

Today, my summers look a little different. Instead of spending time with friends, it seems I spend more time planning events that fall through. Instead of going on long road trips, I’m lucky if I get a weekend off from work. Instead of going to the pool or doing something fun, I always end up watching Netflix for five hours before passing out.

My summers don’t look like they used to. Now, I find summer extremely boring and mind numbing, not to mention how unbearably hot and humid it is. Summer has certainly lost the zeal that it once had.

I know that summer will always have a special place in my heart, but I think that it is time to face facts. It is about time we move on from summer and look forward to fall. Although I used to hate it, nowadays, autumn is my favorite time of the year. Going back to school is a joyous occasion for me and everything that comes with it: studying, essays, tests, sports games, clubs and organizations.

Autumn is a season during which my life has a purpose again. I’m growing in knowledge and taking classes for my major, so I can have a career when I leave. Right now, school is the most important thing in my life, and I can’t really spend my time thinking about what was. I have to live in the now, and I recommend that everyone does the same.

I will never forget the good times I had in summer, but those times are over. My advice to anyone who can’t seem to move on is that it will be better in the long run. However, for now, go make some new memories. Rake some leaves, and jump in a pile. Form a study group with your classmates, and get some pizza afterward. Go to a football game. Watch some movies — but don’t get hung up on the past.

It took me a while to realize it, but the present is happening all around me. In order to create a brighter future for myself, I needed to let go of my obsession with my summer memories. I challenge you to go out and enjoy this fall semester. Maybe one day you can look back at this fall as you once did with the summers of old.

Jalen Collier is a senior from Gardner studying English.