We've all been there: 2 p.m., horizontal on the bed, bowls of almost empty snacks balanced on haphazard blankets, curtains drawn, laptop streaming the 10th (11th?) episode of a show on Netflix. A bright light from your phone signifies that your friend from math class has posted a picture on Instagram. You grab your phone lazily and swipe through the app with fingers coated in Hot Cheeto dust. Picture after picture of tanned girls in skimpy swimsuits on the beach or by the pool catch your eye. You can't help but think about how much fun they're having, how much they're making use of their summer, how much they're enjoying the sunshine and warm breeze before school starts again.
You can't help but think that you're doing the exact opposite, wasting your time being a self-proclaimed sloth in your bedroom, barely even letting the sunshine graze your skin through the gaps in the blinds. You think you're wasting the summer away doing nothing. You're wrong.
Having a great summer is often associated with going to the beach, getting a tan, lying by the pool or travelling to exotic destinations. But you don't need to do any of those things to have a great time. A great time is not limited to these four things. A great time can be whatever you want it to be. You don't necessarily need to spend money on a fancy trip to the seaside or lay outside on your pool chair if you don't want to. Sitting in your room watching Netflix is a perfectly good way to spend your summer.
If you ever feel like you're wasting summer, think about the stress you go through on a daily basis when school is in session. You barely have time to eat and sleep. School dictates when you wake up, when you sleep, what you wear (to some extent) and the activities that comprise your day. When you're on vacation, you're free from all those rules. You can sleep as early or late as you please and wake up at a time that would normally have meant that you missed second period. You can choose to laze in your pajamas all day or wear dangerously tiny booty shorts without getting dress coded. You can spend the entirety of your day not being productive. What can be more relaxing than that?
While I agree that typical summertime activities are extremely enjoyable and are a great way to enjoy the weather, I also think that simple plans for one's day are also just as important for relaxing and refreshing the mind. Listening to your favorite music in your backyard or in your room with the windows open can be an effortless yet tranquil way to spend your evening. Whipping up a new recipe in your kitchen (like these ones, that'll set you back 10 minutes at most) can be just as fun as dining in at a fancy restaurant.
It's all about perspective. You don't need to attend a concert or take a roadtrip to be "doing something." You're doing something right now, and I hope you find it enjoyable.
When school or college starts, you want to feel recharged and ready to take on the new semester. You want to go back with memories of things you did and people you met. And while the fear of missing out is a common trepidation, it's important to understand that you aren't really missing out on anything if you choose not to go. Don't hesitate to choose a night in sometimes. See where the Netflix episode takes you. Watch the sunset from your back porch. Taste buttercream icing you whipped together with your own hands. Snuggle under covers, and hear the sound of your own breathing. Do what makes you happy. That's more important than any standard you have to meet and any image you need to maintain.
All in all, summer is what you want it to be. It can be a season full of going out to tropical places, a season of staying in bed all day or a little bit of both. Summer is your season; it is what you make it. So go forth, seize the day and do what you enjoy!