Posted by Monica Lou
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
There’s something to be said about the quiet of summer. As the spring semester drew to a close, I found myself looking forward for a reprieve from the whirlwind of finals and our cohort trip to Washington D.C. After finally moving into my new apartment, I began to wonder: what’s next?
When I lived in the dorms, it was so easy to meet up with friends for impromptu activities. Now that half of my peers are scattered across the country and world on internships and summer jobs (and the rest are dotted all throughout campus housing), it becomes so much more special to spend time with each other. From indulging in The Bachelorette to crying over the events in Finding Dory, I relish each and every moment spent in good company. I know I can count on my friends to ground me and keep me sane through the sometimes monotonous summer.
I fondly remember spending a relaxing day at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden with close friends, immortalizing embarrassing moments in photos. We hammed it up next to bronze sculptures of Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Ben Franklin, all the while making faces that would put Medusa to shame. We complained about the wrathful Texas sun and sighed dramatically upon encountering shade.
While the worst photos will never make the public eye, they serve as indelible reminders of what fun Dallas has to offer and how every experience is enhanced in the company of friends. On the car ride back to campus, we cooled off with shaved ice, falling into a comfortable, companionable silence. Then came the inevitable question: “What are we doing for dinner?”
From the very beginning of my time living in the apartments, I found myself struggling to decide what to cook because I wanted to make everything! The sudden freedom to cook whatever I wanted whenever I wanted was intoxicating. Grocery trips were now full of opportunity and I found myself happily spending hours at a time in our newly acquired kitchen. Both my roommate Joanna (’15) and I love to cook and bake, so the oven is seldom switched off in our household. We both feed off of each other’s enthusiasm and have resorted to pawning off extra baked goods to our classmates to avoid suffocating in an avalanche of cookies and sweets.
After blundering my way through mac n cheese, sushi, quinoa, cookies, and cakes, the cooking bug has yet to wear off. Even now, I can proudly announce that I have yet to touch a packet of instant ramen or canned soup. How long this determination will last, I know not. I only know that I am looking forward to spending the rest of the summer exploring the community with friends and mercilessly using them as test subjects for my newest culinary creations. That’s what friends are for, right?