I know I’m not the only University of Michigan student stressing out about their summer plans right now.
The summer is an important time for a musician because it provides free hours in the day for one thing: PRACTICING– well, for some people. I do my best to try to avoid practicing for long periods of time. That’s a story for another day. I’m looking at a few different options for my summer but I keep going back and forth on one idea, so I thought I would write about it this week.
I have never been a camp counselor. I understand it’s like some sort of rite-of-passage thing for college students but I feel late to the game. I’m going to be starting my senior year in the fall. I feel like by now, being a camp counselor should be a “been there, done that” situation for me. The truth is that college has actually gone by very quickly and I didn’t fully realize how much I was supposed to accomplish by now… again, a story for another day.
When I was in high school, I went to lots of different string camps and orchestra festivals during the summer. All of these summer camps had such rigorous schedules of rehearsals and supervised practice time that progress was inevitable, and succeeding with my instrument provided more motivation for me to work harder. In true summer camp form, there were also cabins, counselors, and camp traditions. I wore a uniform of navy pants and a light blue polos when I went to Interlochen for two years. On Sundays I had to wear white polos or a counselor would send me back to my cabin to change. We all had a love/hate relationship with the counselors. Most of them were college girls and their personalities ranged from cool to power hungry. I felt like too many took pride over being able to control us, but I had one or two that were kind of like second mothers to me and my cabin mates during our six week stay away from home.
Maybe I would be a good counselor. I feel like I do well with high schoolers and kids. Since I went to the camp myself, I would be able to help them enjoy camp in all the ways that I did, as well as encourage them to take advantage of the opportunities I didn’t pay attention to. I would be able to revisit a place that changed my life: where I discovered that I loved music and wanted to pursue it for a career.
But maybe going back to Interlochen to be a counselor would ruin the magic for me. The nostalgia might be too painful being in a place I loved without my friends. Maybe I would be jealous watching the campers go to orchestra rehearsal. It could replace my old memories of a place where I thought I was the best version of myself. But also, I need money, and it wouldn’t hurt to have the experience. I’ll send in an application and think about the hard stuff later.