How Your Childhood Summer Camp Echoes Life

I went to performing arts camp for a bunch of summers during my childhood. So nerdy, I know. But let it be known that Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s kids went there too AND I got to lay eyes on Ashton Kutcher. So I win. Though my camp days are long behind me since I’m old and boring now, a conversation with a friend made me realize how much camp life echoes real, adult life. For example: each summer when I arrived at camp, I cried and cried. I got so homesick and wanted to be back with my family. I felt like I was missing out on all kinds of exciting things at home (maybe I’m the original inventor of FOMO) and needed to know about all of the neighborhood gossip I was missing. Turns out, I wasn’t missing anything and when camp was over I cried and cried because I didn’t want to leave all of my new friends.

While my Boondoggle and S’mores days are behind me, this kind of camp mentality is not fully gone. I spent the past week at home, and when I got there I kept thinking about all of the fun I was missing in Charlotte. I wanted to be seeing new things and continuing to meet new people and I didn’t want to miss a minute. Yet when I saw my parents and Chris, I couldn’t have been happier. In fact, I enjoyed my trip so much that I didn’t want to leave and extended it a few days. I got teary at the thought of getting on a plane back to Charlotte. However, now that I’m back in Charlotte, I’m glad to be here.

I guess the moral of the story is that whether you’re 13 or 25, it’s easy to spend time reminiscing and missing other places and people, and not appreciating what’s around you. Yet when it’s time to leave that place and those people, you miss them too. While I think missing loved ones and your home is always normal, it’s important not to get so caught up in the missing part that you don’t appreciate a different yet equally exciting and happy situation that’s unfolding around you. FOMO is highly overrated. Instead of crying when you get to camp and crying when you have to leave (or whatever your current version of camp is now) try to make it a point to really absorb and appreciate your surroundings. You never know when it will become the situation that you’re spending time missing when you’ve moved on and are someplace else.

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