Bearcats in the Summer

Article by: Devesh Rai

Nearing the end of the school year, students always begin asking themselves, “What should I do this summer?” Some know exactly what they are going to do months in advance. However, for others, summer plans are more spontaneous. After all, the only things limiting the endless list of possibilities are the laws of science, the matter of money, and, of course, parental approval. While the avenues that one can explore over the summer are essentially boundless, the majority of people fall into two broad categories: those who attend summer programs or camps, where they can gain an edge or practice something they enjoy, and those who spend their time having as much non-academic fun as possible, namely touring various countries or simply relaxing at home. Now with the school year beginning once again, Bearcats are reflecting on how they spent their summer.

Louis R., grade 12, prefers to spend his holiday in summer programs. Being a self-anointed “physics guy”, and the president of the Astronomy Club, it is evident that physics is Louis’ passion. This summer, he visited the Perimeter Institute (PI) for Theoretical Physics, and worked on “advanced topics of modern research.” He described the experience as “a unique and rare opportunity for any aspiring physicist.” Louis prefers this over traveling and more conventional ways of enjoying one’s holidays because it allows him to “interact with new people and build connections.” It also gives him the opportunity to “explore what [he] likes best.” On the other hand, Nodir M. believes that the best way to spend the holiday is to travel. He went to Uzbekistan this summer, and said he enjoys it because “it lets [him] take a break from the work that hangs over [him] the entire year.” Similarly, Justin P. likes to relax over the summer, his favorite activity being “chilling with friends.”

While summer culture usually brings forth images of the beach, palm trees, and a lot of sleep, from the accounts above, it seems that “summer culture” is not singular, and is rather an abstract concept. In essence, summer is whatever you want it to be, whether that entails spending the summer learning  about quarks, interning at a company, sunbathing on a beach, or simply spending time with those you care about.