When school dismisses in the spring, students are eager to start their summers — an entire three months full of nonstop travel, laughter and friends. That’s what makes a summer “good,” right?
When thinking about this inquiry in a deeper manner, what actually constitutes a “good summer?” Is it an abundance of trotting the globe? Is it working every single day, making a measly $7.25 an hour in order to save up wages to offset student loans? Is it lounging by the pool, doing nothing?
Social media has a tendency to affect those in search of a summer worth capturing; this is what influencers are paid to do. When followers see an influencer’s constant stream of travel and leisure — and they aren’t doing anything noteworthy for their own Instagrams or Twitters — it may make them feel worthless, as if their summer wasn’t worth it.
These advertisements and influencers give followers a false hope. At the beginning of the break, students are allowed time to de-stress from the whirlwind of school and take a second to just breathe. But as most breaks go, plans arise and summer activities swarm open calendar dates, and suddenly, it’s August again. Students wonder if they made the most of their summers. Did they have enough fun? Did they have too much fun?
When asked if one had a good summer, the immediate answer is usually “yes,” because that’s what the mind is trained to say. Yes, the students did get a break from school. Yes, the students did do something with their time off. Just as when someone asks how another is doing, the most common response is “good.” In place of scrambling to find an honest answer to this burning question, students should go and have a summer that they find exciting and memorable, not what others decide for them.
Students worry too much about having a “good” summer to brag about instead of enjoying their academic hiatus. Summer is what one wants to make it, not what social media or others’ plans dictate. So when May rolls around, don’t be afraid to take advantage of what one’s heart desires.
Email Ali Levens: firstname.lastname@example.org