As an out of town student, I am presented with the same dilemma every year: where should I live for the summer? I have been in university for four years now and every year this decision gets harder. Many issues complicate what some would view as an easy choice. I have weighed the options to the point of exhaustion, and the question is always the same: do I want to save money or do I want to have a fun summer?
Returning to a town in Northern British Columbia where there are always jobs, and well-paying jobs at that, is a no-brainer for those whose only goal for the summer is to fund the following year university. I am not naturally one of this mindset.
Although I have funded my own education for the last two years, I would be lying to say it was possible without my father's guidance. Every year he insists that working hard for four months so you can live comfortably for eight months is a viable sacrifice to make. I inevitably spend the last two weeks in April every year grumbling about having to go back to my shitty little town for another summer. However, I have always succumbed to the temptation of money and my father's nagging.
I have spent the last three summers working for the city parks crew in my hometown. I make a sufficient amount of money every summer to fund my education and take a trip back to Calgary--last summer I even managed a trip to California. I can actually say that every summer I have spent at home was to some extent enjoyable. I fill my time biking, fishing and hiking, all the while surrounded by insurmountable beauty created by lakes, mountains and trees.
No, leaving Calgary for the summer is not that bad.
Nevertheless, what am I missing while I am gone?
This has always been the question at the back of my mind every second I am away. After living in Calgary for four years, most of my friends are here and a large number of them remain here year-round. Not only is the company better in Calgary, but I am sure those of you from a small town will attest to the fact there is simply more going on in Calgary. Festivals, concerts and sporting events are a few things my town is lacking in comparison.
The culture accessible here in the summer is also amazing. Nearby Banff and Kananaskis Country would feed my appetite for the outdoors and I have heard that Calgary is at the peak of its beauty during the summer.
So, here I am in the same predicament again: where will I go this year?
This summer I've decided to have fun. I am not going to worry about making as much money as possible, but instead just worry about living and getting by. The scales are tipped--I will stay in Calgary.
I have accomplished the task of finding a house to live in for the summer but, as of right now, I do not have full time job secured. This really doesn't worry me. Besides, in the words of Helen Keller, "life is a daring adventure, or nothing."