School’s out. Now what?

Welcome to the summer of uncertainty

Normally around this time, I’d be cajoling my daughter into eating breakfast and getting ready for a day at her summer job.

But this isn’t “normally.”

In this timeline, it’s unlikely she’ll get back to her summer job at the movie theater before it’s time to pack up the family truckster and head off to college – assuming campuses are open again in the fall.

After a few end-of-year obligations and creative celebrations on Friday and Saturday, the first full day of summer vacation 2020 kicked off yesterday.

So what do we do with our kids this summer?

According to a survey, as many as 75 percent of college students’ jobs and internships have been canceled, digitized or delayed.

The study shows that the effects on kids can range from anxiety to depression.

The hard financial shocks, and soft social shocks have sparked a third trend: heightened mental distress. Being torn from friends, blocked from campus resources and losing jobs has exacerbated mental health struggles.

While my daughter has reluctantly accepted losing the end of her senior year, there has been a slow descent into the doldrums. There was no final play performance, no last orchestra or jazz concert, no prom and no graduation (so far,) and she’s pretty much been sequestered in the house for the past bajillion weeks.

Until yesterday. With one eye on her mental health and one on her physical health, I begrudgingly agreed to let her head out to a socially distant get together with a few friends.

I’m glad I did.

They gathered for a driveway confab – six feet a part and wearing masks – and then went for a long hike in the woods, climbed a tree and stood around a fire pit for a few hours. I wasn’t there (because “Daaaaaad”), but if I had to envision the perfect summer night for her, that might be it.

It was amazing to see the smile on her face and hear the happiness in her voice when she walked in the house smelling like a campfire and showing us the scrapes and scratches she got from her time in the woods. She didn’t spend the day tearing tickets at the theater, but she also didn’t spend it staring at her phone.

What now?

According to another report, it’s not too late to secure a virtual internship.

The New York Times piece cites Handshake, a recruiting platform that focuses on college students, which reported that of 110 employers surveyed, 60 percent planned to offer virtual internships. A college student profiled in the feature landed four internship offers, but she sent out 80 query letters and applications. The profiled student heard back from 15 employers, and now has four part-time ritual internships.

What did we do to prepare? Not send out 80 query letters, that’s for sure.

We barely got her through college acceptance, scholarship season and a crazy amount of music, drama and improv performances before a few weird pandemic months. Suddenly, it was all over and we’re looking at a summer where we’re not sure what to do next. It would be great if she could earn some money for college, but we’ll see what the warmer months bring.

At the very least, she’ll be pretty good at climbing trees.

Categories: Dad on Bored