With finals week officially in full swing, students are eager to finish their assignments as soon as possible and rush out to their summer destinations. With summer vacation comes the allure of sunshine, warm weather and relaxation. Yet, departure from the Crowned Hilltop also inevitably brings farewells. Whether returning home, interning in New York, studying abroad or even staying near campus, the end of the spring semester requires us to detach ourselves from the friends we’ve become so acquainted with during the school year as we disperse to our respective ends of the country—or the globe—for the next three months.
In addition to good-byes and see-you-laters, we make promises to each other. To those who will be far away, “I’m definitely coming to visit!” To those spending the summer nearby, “We’ll hang out all the time.” Some even go as far to plan meetups abroad (You’re studying in country X, I’m studying in country Y, let’s spend a weekend together in country Z!).
The problem with such promises is that they often go unfulfilled. The trip is never booked, the invitation to hang out is never extended and neither person ends up visiting country Z. While it’s understandable that sometimes these reunions are simply not feasible, for scheduling or financial reasons, very often these plans are never made simply due to lack of effort.
There are many reasons people might not make the attempt to keep their word given at the end of spring semester. Some simply forget—among the stress of exams, papers and projects, summer plans are not a priority until we’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel. Others may have had no intent of following through from the start, but find initiating such arrangements a nice way to be polite, or make conversation. This mentality, however, effectively perpetuates a cycle of empty promises.
Instead we should focus on making promises we plan to keep. While we may have no real intention of visiting our friend on the opposite coast, we can make time for one last dinner after the end of finals. We may not spend every second with our college friends who will be spending the summer near us, but we can set aside at least one night to see a movie with them. And of course, given the complexity of international meetups, if we know we won't be able to plan such an excursion we can promise our friends to exchange lots of pictures and share our experiences when we get back.
While ideally everyone would like to be able to honor the promises made at the end of the school year, being realistic about our plans and expectations for our time away from BC facilitate a smoother transition for when we are reunited with our classmates in the fall.