COURTESY OF ALISIA ORTIZ
There’s nothing like summer in the city. When the fall semester starts at Fordham, students only have a few short weeks of warm weather before winter descends. Time spent on the plaza enjoying the sun is traded for the underground tunnels to avoid the rain, cold and slush.
Winter in New York City seems to last forever. As soon as the weather gets nice again, the academic year is over and Fordham students scatter for their vacation destinations. Though the length of the vacation never changes, how students spend their summer away from school evolves with each passing year.
For Cate Galliford, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, the summer before freshman year of college meant spending time with friends before going their separate ways for school: “One by one, my friends left. Fordham starts really late, so I was the last one left at home.”
This year an internship at a local bank awaits her in her hometown, but last summer she worked at a preschool camp and a bookstore. “Even though I spend my summers working, it is very relaxing to me to be just done with [school and] work and go home and have time to spend with myself without worrying about assignments,” Galliford said.
Sophomore summer is a marker for the direct middle of one’s college experience. Michael Fagan, FCLC ’21, is required to take two classes over the summer in order to graduate on time as part of the 3-2 Engineering program. This year, Fagan is balancing work and relaxation. “Last summer, I had an internship and it was just school, work, school. It’d be nice to have a chill out period,” he said.
Junior year is known as “prime time” for internships, and many rising seniors want to secure summer positions to build their resumés. Psychology major Lis Ortiz, FCLC ’20, is a recipient of a coveted Fordham Summer Research Grant to study how “bilingual participants perceive memories or if that has an affect on someone’s self perspective,” in Ortiz’s words. “I’ll be working with bilingual participants all summer and getting to speak English and Spanish, it’s giving me a chance to strengthen my Spanish speaking skills.” When not researching in Fordham’s memory and aging lab, Ortiz will also be working part time at Glossier.
Although they have a busy schedule ahead of them, summers are a much needed mental health break for Ortiz. “Summers mean self-preservation, especially in college. I’m drained by the time summer rolls around. Those three months feel like a year, and it’s the perfect amount of time that I need to put myself first again. I’m going to start taking yoga again, start doing things that strengthen that mind-body connection.”
For graduating seniors, the summer can either be a looming deadline or a time of excitement. For Morgan Steward, FCLC ’19, each summer at Fordham has brought something different; her freshman year she returned home to Texas, her sophomore year took her abroad to London, her junior-year summer included her dream job in New York City and this upcoming summer brings entering the workforce full time. “This summer will be interesting because it will be the first one where there’s no end in sight, no going back to school to start the cycle back over again.”
It’s a scary thought that after college means the end of summer vacations. “This summer will still have that summer vacation mindset, because it hasn’t set in that when Fordham has its first day of school, I won’t be there,” Steward said. “Summer is a still time rejuvenate and recalibrate for the year again, but this summer will definitely be different.”