Cohen: Summer is within striking distance

Marshall Cohen

I took a short trip back home to Livingston, NJ this weekend to watch my brother’s first theater performance. A group at my high school put on “Dog Sees God,” a high school-tilted adaptation of the “Peanuts” comic strip.

Many of my high school friends also arrived in Livingston this past weekend, but rather for summer vacation.

As we all know, Northwestern University uses the quarter system. We start late and end even later. Our vacations are timed so differently from everyone else’s that they often don’t seem like vacations at all. Besides NU and the University of Chicago, the rest of the collegiate world follows an entirely different calendar.

This makes for difficult Septembers – and much longing to return to Evanston – but even harder Mays and Junes. For NU students, summer vacation feels like the football Charlie Brown can never seem to reach.

Saturday night was strange; it felt like an average summer night. The weather was warm and humid. I met up with some friends at a nearby ice cream parlor and we eventually settled in my basement. We were all just happy to be together again.

For me, unfortunately, the reunion was short-lived. I boarded my flight back to Chicago Sunday and was back in my dorm room that night, catching up on political science reading as if I had never left campus.

The end of this school year looks so close if you go by the calendar. But what you can’t see on the calendar are all of the assignments, papers and exams that still need to be done before the shackles of school are removed for summer. Calendars don’t show stress.

With full knowledge of the challenges that lie ahead for me – and for everyone else on campus – I am optimistic. In some ways, my trip home made me more motivated than before.

Seeing fellow college students who were actually done for the year made me realize exactly how close to the finish line we really are here in Evanston. We just have to cross it.

Marshall Cohen is a Medill freshman and DAILY blogger. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed at