Driving from Pasadena to West LA along Beverly Glen, on the eve of summer (for UCLA students) an odd melancholy washed over me. Each year summer rolls around, I can't help but feel this bittersweet anxiety that nestles itself in my chest and pokes its head every once in awhile. As I drove, windows down, radio on, I contemplated the whereabouts of this angst: Where lay its root?
As if by fate (a concept I firmly believe in), "summer depression" by girl in red queued up and I couldn't help but smile to myself, a poetic coincidence.
The song sang my thoughts better than I could have spoken them: "Summer depression, there's so much time to question my life." When you're a student, you're used to never ending deadlines and minimal free time.
When summer resumes, all the youths who are so accustomed to constantly being busy are suddenly struck by no set schedule.
Some fill the time with travel, or work, or other activities, but, for many, the underlying anxiety remains.
This is due in part to the expectation that summertime is meant to be filled with adventure, excitement, happiness and relaxation.
So when one becomes bored or, on the other end, realizes she's working her summer away, "summer depression" kicks in.
It doesn't help that social media makes it seem like everyone and their mother is partying from dusk 'til dawn in Ibiza or building hospitals in Western Africa.
We spend all school year waiting for summer, only to be disappointed when are expectations aren't meant: hence summer depression.
To make matters worse, since summer seems analogous to sublime happiness, when you don't feel elated you automatically assume something is wrong.
The fact of the matter is—summer is just like any other time of year. It's totally fine if it's no more exciting, or less exciting, than every other part of the year. The regular fluctuation of emotions associated with daily life are totally normal as well, even in the summertime.
There's no necessity for fancy excursions or copious amounts of time relaxing. It may be cool to have a kick-ass internship in New York city, but it doesn't mean your summer is any less simply because you're working at a cafe in Westwood.
Summer is what you make it, just like spring, fall, and winter. The only thing of importance is to try to enjoy your time.