Summary of My Summer

As we look toward fall, I reflect on my summer!

As the Phineas and Ferb intro song goes, “There’s 104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it / So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it…” While I didn’t build a robot or fight a mummy this summer, I did do some pretty cool things!

Attending the Self-Determination Theory Conference in the Netherlands

Image may contain: Kayla Zilke, smiling
I presented research on how motivation for using social networking sites affects wellbeing at the conference

Two weeks after finals ended, I packed my bags and instead of flying home to Seattle I flew in the other direction to Amsterdam. The day I arrived, I explored Amsterdam before heading to my hotel on the coast. The next day, I relaxed and tried to acclimate to the time difference. For the next five days, I was at the conference, which included keynote speakers, networking opportunities, poster sessions, and panels. It was amazing to be surrounded by people who are also interested in motivation, some of whom have dedicated their lives to research on the topic. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to go to this conference.

Working full time

I spent most of my summer working to earn money to pay for college. Although my job wasn’t as relevant to what I want to do as an internship might have been, it greatly strengthened my customer service skills, paid well, guaranteed me a job every summer I’m in school, and there are many opportunities for growth within the company after I graduate. Working part-time or at an internship are also great ways to gain experience over the summer!

Applying to study abroad

In mid-July, I started working on my study abroad applications so I could get them in early. The two programs I was interested in, DIS and IES, both accept applications on a rolling basis, so it was beneficial to apply before the deadline, especially since tracks within each program can fill up quickly. I found out within two weeks that I was accepted to my first choice study abroad program!

Having some fun!

When I wasn’t working, I spent most of my free time going to festivals and doing fun activities. I dressed up for the Northwest Pirate Festival as well as the Renaissance Faire I go to every summer. My mom and I went to a neighboring county’s sustainability fair, where we ate local food, got free kombucha, and purchased some zero-waste essentials. My boyfriend and I went glassblowing, which is something I never thought I would do. I also went out on a boat a couple of times, made blackberry jam with blackberries picked that morning, went to a Seattle Sounders game, and celebrated my 20th birthday. What’s a summer without some variety, right?

Trying out ax throwing at the Northwest Pirate Festival

Summertime is a great time to spend time with the friends and family you may not see much while you’re at college, do new things, soak up the sun to prepare for the grey months to come, get ready for the upcoming semester, or pile up some cash. What are your plans for next summer?

About the author

Kayla Zilke

I'm a member of the Class of 2021 from Seattle, WA majoring in psychology with minors in business and environmental humanities. I'm involved with Quidditch, GreenSpace, EcoReps, intramural sports, the Student Association of Vegan and Vegetarian Youth, and Hatha Yoga.

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