The Summertime Blues Suck

The Summertime Blues Suck

Here's how to avoid it.
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This might not apply to everyone, but I've noticed a trend among my friends and I. It's something I've noticed since high school. During the summer, without much to do, we get particularly melancholy. Our lives are ahead of us but we feel like we aren't living so there's this huge void that encompasses everything. For me, it's like reverse SAD.

Without having a set schedule, my life feels like its chaotic and I struggle to get it under control. The thing is, control is an illusion and I don't think it would be good for me to plan out every minute of my day like I want to, because then I would be too high strung. Being more stressed out is the opposite of how I need to be spending my summers.

Here's how I keep myself feeling okay during summer vacation while I'm at home feeling useless.

There's a big push for productivity, and I understand why. In order to achieve things like wealth or success, which are valued on a societal and personal level, productivity is needed. However, that mindset can result in putting too much stress on yourself during the summer, when school isn't in session.

I remind myself that I'm not only valuable while I'm being productive.

I'm not really sure what it is that makes me so guilty every time I try and open a book, but I think it has something to do with reading being something I enjoy, and if I haven't done anything to deserve enjoyment, then why should I read? That's a mindset I have to talk myself out of every time I pick up a book because between media and school I've been shown multiple times by multiple sources that I need to be doing something constructive at all times, maximizing my output. Sometimes I remind myself that reading is productive for me because in order to be a good writer of fiction, I need to be reading. However, I think everyone should be able to just chill out and do something they enjoy, particularly during summer vacation. So I tell myself that I'm not only valuable while I'm being productive, because my goal is to be low stress and not as hard on myself as I am the other 8 or so months of the year. Also, I have a job and I'm working on getting another. That's pretty productive too, and there's nothing wrong with working during the summer to make money.

I like working because working means I get money and I get to be productive and do something. In the case of my summer job, that means I get to work on the presentation of the store I work at. Sure, that means folding clothes and hanging them up and cleaning at the end of the day, but it's still being productive, and I like being productive.

I'm not only valuable when I'm productive, but being productive makes me feel better, so I try as hard as possible to be productive.

I'm a Capricorn, so sometimes I feel like I need to be productive as much as I need oxygen. To be productive, I keep up with my calendar, organizing my life around my family, friends, and job. For me this summer my main goal of productivity is to finish my novel. For other people this may be something like losing a set weight or reading a certain number of books or just working. Productivity looks different for everyone and we're all at different stages of our lives, and its important to remember that and to not compare yourself to someone who you think you should be.

Like I said, I have a job. In addition to this, I want to pet sit, write a novel, spend times with my friend and significant other, and I also familial obligations. That's a lot! I enjoy staying busy though, but not too busy.

I stay busy, but not too busy.

Nothing's worse for the summertime blues than just staying at home and not doing anything. However, I try not to get so busy that my life starts to feel hectic. When I was on my senior trip the summer of 2017, we were very active. Almost too active, which was understandable because we were in Newfoundland, literally the most beautiful place I've ever been. But because we were so busy, I was run down and stressed. Even on vacation, I need balance (and some productivity, unfortanately).

It's summertime, and that means being as cool as a cucumber as much as possible. I don't try and take on more than I can chew just because I no longer have the pressure of school.

By doing a lot of different things during the summer, I get to learn some things about myself. I get to learn how much I can handle at once, for example.

Generally, I get to know myself better during the summer.

I have free time during the summer. I try and use my free time wisely by using it to figure out who I am as a person and to become at peace with who I am while also committing to be better. I do this by spending a lot of time alone, but also doing other activities like yoga, spending time outside gardening, and writing. I think its important to be able to be by yourself and know how to keep yourself content and entertained, so I make it a goal of mine during the summer as I get more in touch with myself by doing things on my own in addition to the other things I spend my time on.

Sometimes I do feel down during the summer because I feel trapped at home in a cycle of sleeping too late in the day and then staying up too late at night and generally not doing things that are good for my mental and physical health. However, I've been making efforts over the years to change that, and hopefully one day I'll be able to smoothly transition from school to summer, and then eventually working year round.

Cover Image Credit: Nicholas Peno

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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