Summer lessons in University Heights


Leanna Nasrallah

Campus Editor Grace Sherban talks about lessons learned over the summer

Grace Sherban, Campus Editor

When I took the last final of my freshman year of college, I was a tad bit upset to say the least. The spring semester of this past school year was one of the most exciting and challenging times of my life. While the fall semester was devoted to learning how to acclimate to college life, the spring was dedicated to taking the mistakes of the semester prior and really growing as a person. 

The spring semester holds so many special moments for me from deadline night at The Carroll News to study sessions in the Pacelli lounge. As the summer began, I didn’t think I was ready to let go of these habits over the course of the upcoming months. 

Learning how to adapt to a change in routine has never been easy and I have a tendency to be too sentimental for my own good. With these thoughts running through my mind when summer began, I told myself to not get caught up in my own emotions and truly live in the moment without thinking about the inevitable end. 

Since summer is about three months long, I thought I would share three lessons and ideas that I stumbled upon over the course of this vacation from school that have stuck with me. Hopefully, you can resonate with these ideas and start implementing them into your own life and mindset. 


1.) “If you can’t find joy, create it” 


This summer, I had the opportunity to stay on campus and work for the Office of Residence Life as a summer assistant. Getting to explore hidden places on campus and learning more about the inner workings of how things are run was such an amazing experience. 

The ResLife office is responsible for so many different aspects of campus life like a typical residential experience to key distribution and maintenance. Being able to learn about this integral part of campus while being a member of an amazing team was by far one of the highlights of my summer. 

On a particular day towards the beginning of the job, one of my coworkers was struggling with a task and said something that I found to be very profound. She essentially stated, “If you cannot find joy, it’s up to yourself to create joy.” 

We’ve all heard the phrase find joy or we have seen it written on a decorative canvas at Home Goods but people rarely point out the fact that some situations are simply joyless. Acknowledging this idea is half of the battle. In my experiences from this summer and reflecting on the past, I think I’ve had more fun and learned more about myself when joy was created as opposed to being found. 


2.) “It is a choice to be positive” 


This second lesson pairs well with the first one I mentioned but there is a key difference. To me, creating joy is more of a collaborative activity while staying positive is something that you have to do on your own. 

I came to this realization one day when I was in a day-ruining bad mood. Throughout the course of the day, I realized how much my outlook on a situation impacted people around me. The vibe was completely off and everyone else’s mood began to become just as foul as mine. 

It is not uncommon for people to rely on others’ energy to help get them through the day. So, if that spark is not on, it can greatly impact everyone in a negative way. If things are not going your way, don’t let others have to put up with your bad mood. In my experience, it’s best to tell others that I am having a rough day or not in a good mood. Communication is key. By letting everyone know what’s up, the people I am around are able to improve my mood and change my attitude. 

It’s not fair for others to suffer because things aren’t going your way one day. In spite of what is happening in life, the choice to be positive, no matter the situation, is completely up to you. 


3.) “There’s always time for courtesy”


This saying has become sort of a catchphrase of mine which I find to be utterly hilarious (but that’s just me.) I cannot remember the exact origin of how I began saying this but the sentiment is pretty clear: you are never too busy to be a good human. 

Now, this by no means forgetting the responsibility you owe to yourself to do what is necessary in your own life. Rather, it highlights that your time is no more valuable than others. Personally, I find it is more fulfilling to help others which I don’t think I am alone in believing. 

Acts of courtesy can range from simply holding a door for someone or helping a friend move into their new residence hall to offering to drive a friend without a car or assisting with a difficult homework assignment. The time commitment may vary, but an act of courtesy can go a long way for yourself and those you assist. 

Overall, I feel like I grew a lot as a person this summer and slowly evolved into a better version of my past self. The people I spent time with and the experiences we shared will forever hold a special place in my heart. From exploring Oberlin and Vermilion with friends to riding my bike to the movie theater or Coventry, I loved being able to develop as a person with others and in solitude. 

While I may have tried to not think about it, this summer came to a rapid conclusion. However, I would not change one thing about it. I learned so much about myself and became better at coping with change. As the fall semester begins, the summer of 2022 will always live in Grace Sherban infamy and be a reminder to never forget the importance of a positive outlook.