Student Voice


June 12, 2024


Summertime troubles garner experiences

May 7, 2009

So I’ve been wondering a lot about what this summer will have to offer, or what I’ll have to offer this summer.

It will be my fourth summer while attending UW-River Falls, and the three previous have all suggested different tones, adventures and outcomes. 

My summertime tales after freshman year proved that hard work was not only worthwhile, but entertaining as well. I picked up multiple jobs, worked my ass off and sailed through most of my sophomore year having paid a hefty chunk of tuition.

Sophomore summer was a little less entertaining as the hard work became more monotonous as I burned my hands, drank all sorts of car fluids and changed oil constantly while tending to a local golf course part time.

So now I ask what you’re all doing.

What sort of trouble will you all find yourself swimming through? I’d have inquired about this sooner as to get your minds thinking early, but like a lot of you, I also haven’t the foggiest how I’ll turn up in late August when I return to deliver pestering words of cynicism, encouragement and irrational thought.

We, the student population, are all so young, and therefore need to take it all in. Yeah, you’re going to have to perform some tasks you really don’t see yourself making careers out of, but that’s the journey through life. 

I won’t spend a second of my summer sitting around wondering what I should or could be doing. If you’re jobless right now, check your local classifieds. Get out there and live it up.

I’ve spent this year approaching life in the shoes of a storyteller; I’ll usually do things for the story.

You never know when you might be sitting around, surrounding by your overbearing, attention hogging friends who’ve never spent a moment away from mommy and daddy’s arms; bragging about whatever boring lifestyle they live or gossip they’ve heard: suddenly you have a story to combat their mundane day to day activities. 

Yes. You can admit you purposely ran over that tree stump with the lawnmower just to see what happened. You put your life on the line, survived; now you have free rein to tell the story in whatever dramatic fashion you wish. 

As they sink into a dark hole of awe, you take over the conversation. You never know when you might run into someone who worked the same job, kissed the same style of boss’ ass to get a day off, or spent a week looking forward to the weekend only to get sucked into being the sober cab.

As the sober cab, you ended up convincing your least-favorite drunk friend to engage in a bidding war against a hobo. The prize? His cardboard box shelter. You’ll never go to the annual homeless sleep out on campus here the same way again.

If not for the money: then for the story; for the memory. So don’t be afraid to work a thoughtless job; you can always quit after a few weeks and move on.

The most well-rounded people I know have moved from monotonous job to the next and talked about it with an optimistic tone.

Yeah, it’s cool to complain, but you know it was for the better. Use those experiences to propel yourself toward a job that pertains to your area of study, or a special section of your own interest. You can’t possibly know where you’ll end up, so give it a shot.

You never know where you’ll end up. I look forward to seeing you all next year. Have a fantastic summer, and don’t forget to let the chips fall where they may. 

Brad Brookins is a graduate of UW-River Falls.