The First Burn of the Summer

by Olivia Barker

I spent a considerable amount of time at the beach this weekend and unfortunately, now I look like a lobster. I’m not sure if the sun was shining a little brighter because it was my belated birthday celebration or if I missed the memo that Georgia moved even closer to the equator, but my fire engine red skin isn’t happy with me! My 50 spf sunscreen specifically said reapply every 80 minutes, and even though I followed the instructions, somehow I still got burnt.

It’s kind of like life, we try so hard to protect ourselves, but sometimes the sun just gets through. The past couple of months have been filled with a lot of unknowns and I am doing everything I can to self preserve. Between some family things, some professional things and some personal things, I have had a really tough semester. I really felt the burn… Everything around me is changing so fast and all I can do is watch it happen.

Our field is filled with changes, ones that we sometimes only hear about after they have been made. Our lives are filled with engagements, weddings, birthdays, babies and funerals. Our bodies can’t stay up as late and sometimes they stop working like they are supposed to. These are all things we can’t control. Some of these are beautiful and amazing and some of them burn, but part of living a full life is taking the good with the bad.

There is some beauty to the burn. I saw my first non-aquarium dwelling jelly fish this weekend and a pod of dolphins swimming about 30 feet off shore. I was too busy enjoying all the wonderful things around me to even notice that I was getting toasted by the sun! This is how we should all be living our lives. Try to enjoy and appreciate all the good that is happening around us, because the burns will come no matter how hard to try to protect yourself.

Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there, take the first burn with stride and just try to enjoy the sun!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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