- Freedom. Presumably, mom and dad haven’t come with you (if they have, I’m terribly sorry; I recommend leaving the country or staging an intervention). This means you can do whatever you want, pretty much. Learn to like scotch. Stay up all night. Eat nutella straight from the jar. The possibilities are limitless.
- The social scene. The social environment of a college town in the summertime is a unique experience. On one hand, there are the kids like you, at school for the summer for whatever reason, subletting someone’s shitty apartment, with approximately 70% fewer friends than they normally have. It’s like the first few glorious weeks of freshman year all over again. Everybody wants to be your friend. On the other hand, you probably also have hordes of high school kids running around (colleges like to make money when most of us are gone, so they lend the dorm space and facilities to programs that will pay them). The high school kids are hilarious. Kids, we’re laughing at you. Just so you know.
- Consistency. This summer, I’m living in the apartment where I will live next year, probably next summer, and maybe even the year after that. I have not lived in the same bedroom for two consecutive years since sophomore year of high school. The idea of staying in one place, essentially (excluding winter break and various other holidays for which you might go home), for 20 months, is really exciting. And by exciting I mean “as stable as possible.” Which, you know, can excite some people.
- There aren’t so many pesky other people around. There is rarely a line at your favorite food truck, because most of the regulars are gone and the high school kids haven’t figured anything out/are on mandatory meal plan. You can get a same day appointment for a brazilian. There is always a free computer at the library. Life is good.
- Your ex-lover is dead. Most of the people you know are gone. You are left with a weird smattering of close acquaintances. That friend you made drunk, freshman year. Your friend’s ex-girlfriend who lives down the block. The guy who lived down the hall from you, to whom you rarely spoke. A few of your boyfriend’s frat brothers. These are the people you have (although you will make more friends. See point #2).
- The weather might very well suck. Summer is kind of miserable in most places. That said, the weather probably sucks wherever you’re from, too, so this is inescapable I guess.
- School isn’t happening. Maybe you’re taking classes, but even then, most of the school-things you’re used to on campus just aren’t happening. The newspaper isn’t printing. Sigma isn’t having parties that last an hour and get shut down. The cafe in the middle of campus (usually staffed by students) is closed for the entire summer. You do not have the option to go to the dining hall and eat tater tots when you are hungover. You start to venture off campus. You actually interact with locals. This may be disorienting. But then when your friends all come back, you can say, “Oh, yeah, I hung out at Coffee Exchange a lot this summer. I am cosmopolitan because I walked a whole three blocks east to get coffee in a place where you do not usually go. I am superior to you.” Your friends will be very impressed.