Hear me out: I love summer. I prefer wearing sandals to real shoes, I’m in a better mood when the weather is nice, and there seems to be more things to do when there’s not a foot of snow on the ground. But I can’t help but each year be overwhelmed by trying to achieve the “perfect summer”.
You see examples of achieveing the perfect summer everywhere you go. The local gym is putting up signs to encourage people to get the perfect bikini body, stores have racks of racks of cute bathing suits that will never fit you perfectly, and friends boast about elaborate beach trips they’re planning months in advance.
The countdowns begin as soon as the first warm-ish day rolls around, usually in April. You’ll see tweets like “Can’t wait for summer!” or blog posts about summer bucket lists, which include a list of 20 things that could only be achieve by someone who doesn’t have a full-time job or other commitments.
As far back as high school and as recently as now, I’ve always felt an immense pressure from society and my peers to have the perfect summer. I need to have the cutest swimsuit, go to all the weekend parties, have a stunning tan, and most importantly to our society, document all these fabulous moments via my camera and social media platforms.
The reality is that while each year I enjoy my summer, I end up going to the beach/a pool way less than I imagined. It ends up raining 3 weekends in a row, so my tan leaves little to be desired, and I don’t end up getting invited to all the cool parties and gatherings that I imagined I would. Womp womp. Not to get all Debbie Downer on you guys, but maybe we’re all putting a little too much emphasis on having this perfect summer.
Sometimes I’d rather sleep in and binge-watch TV than spend a day perusing the city spending all my money on macarons and expensive dinners. Sometimes I’d rather wake up without a terrible hangover and spend a day playing basketball with my boyfriend than going to that open bar for a girl who’s not even my friend.
Summer isn’t a competition. Whoever gets the most “likes” on their photo of the ocean doesn’t win a prize. We shouldn’t feel pressured to have something fun planned each and every day just because it’s warm outside. Summer is short, and I get that everyone wants to make the most of it. I’m all for that. But pursuing the “perfect summer” is exhausting- both to do and just to watch others doing it.
What do you think? Do people around you seem to fall for this fad? Do you feel the pressure of having a perfect summer sometimes?