Well, I’m officially halfway through with college. I don’t quite know what to think. I guess it hasn’t quite sunken in yet. It doesn’t feel like summer vacation. I keep waking up expecting to be in my dorm room a few short steps away from my friends. I keep thinking I’ll be back there in a few days.

CanopyI’m home now, but not for long. RYLA is in 13 days, then the morning after I get back from there, I’m headed off to California. Maybe that’s when I’ll realize it’s summer? For now though, it doesn’t feel all that different, just lonelier and not as picturesque.

Thinking back on this point last year, or even last August, I can’t even begin to comprehend how much has changed. Contrary to what some of my friends may tell you, I’ve grown up quite a bit. I’ve become so much more independent over the course of this year. Relationships have been formed, tested, broken, mended, and some even lost, but all the same I feel like it was an experience I needed to have. It really did work out for the best – I ended up meeting a bunch of really great people, people I probably wouldn’t have really spent much time with otherwise.

Bob WoodwardI’ve managed to get myself much more involved on campus and in my major. I’ve really begun to fine-tune where my true interests lie. I’ve rediscovered my love for photography and can’t be more thankful to have that creative outlet again. Working for The Sun has been a really great experience, despite the late nights! The people there are all really fun and I love the pressure of trying to get the stuff in by the deadline. I also got to go to a bunch of cool events that I would have overlooked if I hadn’t been assigned to them. I’m definitely going to be sticking with it next year, and adding photography for The Cornellian (the yearbook) to that as well. I plan to cut back on a few activities, just taking general body membership positions rather than executive board. While I like the diversification, it got to be a bit too much.

Unfortunately, this year is the first time I’m really dealing with losing friends to graduation. I knew a few seniors last year, but none quite as well as my friends this year. I saw some of these people nearly every day – it’s going to be so strange not to have them around next year! They’re all going off to do such amazing things though, even if I do lose touch with some of them down the line, I know I’ll be reading about them in the headlines of the Wall Street Journal, or Forbes, or Wired. They’re going to do great things. Fall Creek Trail

</a>Despite all of the ups and downs, I really fell in love with Ithaca this year. It’s such a beautiful place. I love being able to get lost in the pathways, photograph the countless flowers, and take in the scenery from the plantations overlooks. It’s such a peaceful and serene place. For all of the stress we experience during the year, there’s just as much beauty and relief to make up for it. I love driving down the winding roads under the shade of the tree canopies, sitting out on the grass just soaking up the sounds of nature – and the best part is it’s no more than 2 steps outside of my door! I’m really going to miss it this summer. My camera will miss it too.

It shouldn’t be too hard to get my mind off of it though – I have so much coming up in these next few weeks, and this summer will be like nothing I’ve exerienced. My roommate Alex (another Yahoo! intern) and I are busily looking for a place to live in San Francisco. We’re both starting on June 11th, so time is of the essence! I basically have every listing on craigslist memorized at this point. We’ve emailed a bunch of people, so hopefully at least one of those will pan out. If you have any other suggestions for ways to find (cheapish) housing in SF, please let me know! I’m REALLY nervous, but I think once I get the housing situation sorted out that will all change to excitement. Apart from the excitement of working at Yahoo!, I’m especially excited about going to a place I’ve never been before and being able to take photos! You can expect my Flickr account to be very busy this summer.

TurningSpeaking of Flickr, I took a trip up to the beach today. I was getting a little stir crazy sitting in my room looking for apartments for the last few days. For a day that was supposed to be dreary and rainy, it’s certainly turned out to be pretty close to perfect! I would definitely be sitting in the grass outside of my window with a smoothie and a chicken caesar salad if I were still at school. :) I managed to get some decent shots of the surfers. The poor beach is barely even there anymore. This winter was not very good for the erosion problem. Margot and Shannon are stopping by tomorrow, so hopefully the ocean will leave some sand for us!

That’s about all for now. I still have a lot of unpacking and apartment hunting to get to. Until next time…