It’s been fifteen days, sixteen hours, eight minutes and forty-two seconds since my last final. I know this because the summer countdown clock on my desktop reset itself and kept counting after the semester ended, and I’ve been far too lazy to stop it.
In the frenzied stress-storm that accompanied moving out, passing my final exams and securing a job for the summer, I forgot one crucial thing: The first couple weeks of summer are incredibly boring.
Don’t get me wrong, it inevitably picks back up around June once the sun actually appears and my work schedule becomes more stable. Until then I’m still reeling from the shock of going from 60 to zero in a matter of seconds. As much as I complained about the immense stress of finals week and the hectic schedule that came with it, my summer life has begun to resemble whatever the heck Harry Potter was doing between books.
Since I’ve been home, I’ve used my surplus free-time to live in the gym, read a brand new stack of economic books and re-watch “Arrested Development” before the long-awaited new season starts. I think it’s fairly clear that I’ve got a serious problem at this point.
Growing up, summer was always presented as some sort of promised land, a sunshine-filled Valhalla where parties were held and work was unheard of. Then as I reached adulthood, summer was portrayed as three months worth of financial opportunity, a chance to do something awful for a short period of time so I can eat better flavors of ramen for the rest of the year. Seriously, only the 1 percent can afford the beef flavor.
It’s become clear, however, that both versions of the summer are lies intended to fool us all. I say this because we’re two weeks in and I’ve yet to see sunshine or substantial financial opportunities — and the parties are nothing to write home about. It’s pretty obvious that once one has chosen a degree path and becomes used to a variety of responsibilities during the school year, summer becomes an awkward break in the middle of real life.
Much like a federally mandated work break, summer sounds great on paper until you realize that the world would be a much better place if the freedom of summer were distributed to other, more stressful, parts of the year. If I could treat summer like a segmented candy bar and break a piece off whenever I decide that being an adult is just too much work, the entire process would be much more efficient.
Admittedly, I’ll probably change my mind in less than a week, when I decide that there aren’t enough hours in the day to watch every Marvel movie back-to-back. With an ever-increasing work schedule and my trip to Sasquatch Music Festival looming on the horizon, it looks like I’ll have plenty to do in the near future.
So I guess there really is no worst-case scenario here. By burning up all my time on beneficial activities that keep me busy, maybe I’ll undergo some self-improvement by the time summer picks up. I’ll be in shape from the gym (probably not), well-read from the econ books (doubtful) and hopefully better off for enduring the crushing boredom.
More realistically though, I’ll be able to bombard my family and friends with “Arrested Development” references until summer ends or one of them decides to kill me. The social life of a T.V. junkie is rarely a peaceful one.
So tune in next issue as my summer takes a 180 after I return from the hipster version of Woodstock with a hard drive full of stories I’ll never be allowed to print. I’m sure I’ll be able to edit and piece together enough of a story that will be both non-incriminating and sufficiently entertaining.
It seems summer is looking up already.