Opinions: Green Grass Syndrome


The belief that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence – that’s the Green Grass Syndrome.

With Graduation approaching swiftly, I hear many of my fellow seniors talking about how eager they are to be finished with high school and moving on with their lives.  I certainly wasn’t the only one already counting how many days I had left of school two weeks ago or the only one plotting which days I actually needed to come in for once finals started.

It reminds me of an experience I had last summer – a seven-week long experience called “my job.”  I spent the majority of my past summer break working as a member of the staff for a Boy Scout camp.  To be clear, I loved this job…usually.

The thing is, even for an outdoorsmen like myself, living out of a tent with less square footage than my bed at home for the entirety of a hot, dry summer gets a little tiring.  Eventually, I started miss the comforts of home: air conditioning, restaurants, the internet, air conditioning, those kinds of things.

Plus, waking up for basically the same routine one week after the other (sound somewhat familiar?) can get old even if you do enjoy what you are doing.

At any rate, by the last of the seven weeks of the summer, I found myself counting down the days until I finally got to go home.  I was very excited as I began the two-hour drive home at the end of that week. By that time, I’d already been warned by more experienced staffers that as soon as I was home, I would miss being at camp.

It turns out, they knew what they were talking about. Just four days after my return home, I found myself ready to go back.

All the things I had missed about home were now the things I missed about camp, but in reverse.  For example, there were always thing that needed to be done at camp, so while I was there I wished for more leisure time. Once I was back home, I found myself wondering what I did with all my free time before I was on staff. I’d fallen victim to the Green Grass Syndrome.

I understand that for some of my fellow staffers, this turn around period is not four days but four hours.  What a nightmare.

I strongly suspect that crossing that stage, May 22will lead to a similar situation. How long will it be until seniors who had counted down the days until graduation start to reminisce about high school?  Will I find myself victim of Green Grass Syndrome once again, May 27?

Certainly we will miss all of the people, all the friends we made along the way.  Then there’s cheering in the Catpound, sports, clubs and school dances.  The list goes on and on.  Surely everyone will have at least one thing that thing that will call their mind back to Eureka.  Maybe we will wish that we hadn’t rushed through the last couple of weeks.  Maybe we will wish we had cherished them while they lasted.

I can go back to summer camp this year, but we seniors will never have the opportunity to be high school students again – and that’s the real danger of the Green Grass Syndrome.  We get so caught up in thinking about what’s next, we fail to appreciate the good of the situation we are in, and when we realize it, it’s too late.

To echo Ferris Bueller, epitome of high school seniors, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  In other words, don’t fall victim to the Green Grass Syndrome.