Let Freedom Ring (or BOOM… whatever you prefer)

American Flag Sunnies

Ahhhh, it’s summertime. I’ve got beaches on the brain… which is ironic, since my bikini fits a little tighter than last year. This is, of course, due to the inevitable 5 pounds I’ve gained during all of my spontaneous ice cream trips: “Would you like one scoop or two?” “Ummmm is that even a question?”

Summer also brings morning coffee on the porch, fun concerts, food truck festivals (there’s another 5 pounds,) and of course, one of my favorite holidays. Maybe I love the 4th of July so much because I get to raid my closet for all things flag related and come up with the most obnoxious but very patriotic outfit. Maybe it’s because I get to revert to childhood a bit and paint my nails whatever combination of red, white, and blue I please. Or maybe it’s because I enjoy hearing the mighty BOOM of the fireworks at Navy Pier as their glitter falls from the sky. Or just maybe it’s because I get a kick out of watching my cat creep around the living room with her tail bushier than Mr. Big’s eyebrows. She “loves” the BOOM of the fireworks, too.

So naturally, as I write this, I’m refreshing my weather app every 2 minutes to make sure this Saturday is going to be free from the grips of a rain shower. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx it!

…And while I’ve still got beaches on the brain, I haven’t forgotten the real reason we celebrate the 4th of July. Around this time, I go through the lists of reasons I’m thankful for my freedom. This year, I get to add a new freedom to the list: the freedom to not only attend optometry school, but the freedom to choose where I want to attend. It seems surreal that this is my last summer before I start this amazing journey with, from what I’ve seen so far, some pretty rad peers.

This holiday has caused me to reflect and dig deep on why I chose ICO in the first place. In the jumble of my thoughts, there is a recurring theme. ICO is offering me the freedom to express myself, the freedom to be a little quirky, the freedom to explore my creative outlets while getting a science-based education, and the freedom to make decisions about my future. I’d be lying if I said that the most exciting thing about the summer of 2015 is Lollapalooza. While it’s a very close second, I think the ride of preparing for ICO takes the cake (and ice cream).

Now, please excuse me while I take a trip to my closet; I still can’t decide between the flag-printed shorts or the red, white, and blue dress.

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