Summer Break: Expectation Vs. Reality


Summer is a magical and mysterious time everyone in college looks forward to right around the time when spring semester finals seem especially harsh. Summer is all about good times and sunshine, being with people you love and basically just having fun without a thought to consequences. Some go abroad or plan huge trips, and some just look forward to spending some quiet time at home. The ones at home, if you’re anything like me and have a tendency toward FOMO, will try and make the most of all that free time by setting some goals to hit before summer is over. I made a list of aspirations every summer, and every summer, here’s exactly what happened.

Summer Expectation: I’m going to sit by the pool all summer and get an awesome tan.

Reality: On the first day you get sunburned so badly that you have to go home and slather yourself with aloe and lie naked on your bed with a fan blowing on you for the rest of the night. You are in too much pain to shower or walk or put underwear on. Your sunburn transitions to peeling and you start losing flakes of your skin everywhere. After a week, your sunburn has finally faded and you’re left with painfully clear tan lines. You’ll go back to the pool in a wide-brimmed hat and a one-piece, feeling bitter.

Summer Expectation: I’m going to party every single night now that I’m not in school.

Reality: You’ll party, but not necessarily with who you thought you would. Your high school friends are all lame or at school for the summer, and your college friends are at their own homes, so you’ll probably end up partying with your younger sibling and their friends. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get drunk and make out with a seventeen-year-old boy and hate yourself. No? Just me? Okay.

Summer Expectation: I’m going to get a gym membership and work out every day. By the time I go back to school I’ll have a six-pack.

Reality: You will beg your mom to pay for a summer gym membership. She’ll cave because she has a dream that lives deep in her heart that one day you might not be a fat slob. You will go one day, half-ass twenty minutes on the elliptical, and then go lay on the mats with your best friend and gossip for another hour before leaving to go get Mexican food. You won’t go back.

Summer Expectations: I’m going to take this opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with my family.

Reality: You will spend your extra time pissing your parents off because you’re lounging around the house all day. Your older siblings are off doing adult things and your younger ones are high school-aged and have all their friends near them so they’re always busy. You end up bored one night and wind up getting tipsy with your mom off wine coolers and try to teach her to sext. The most you will be able to get her to do will be take a picture of her old lady bra lying on the bed. You try to explain that that’s not sexting, it’s just sending someone a picture of your laundry, but she doesn’t get it.

Summer Expectations: I’ll read books just for fun and to better myself/I’ll read a few of the classics.

Reality: You will get three pages into a Charles Dickens novel, want to kill yourself, and switch to trashy magazines. By the end of summer you will know more than you ever wanted to about the Kardashians and/or Emma Stone’s alleged love life.

Summer Expectation: I’m probably going to miss college a little, and my college friends and sisters.

Reality: You will miss them more than you thought possible, but that just makes the end of summer that much sweeter.

Ah well, only a few months left, right?

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Shannon Layne

My favorite things are tiaras, compliments, and free drinks, which are becoming harder to come by the more I tend to show up at the bar in sweat pants. The proudest moment of my life so far has been landing an actual, paying job that allows me to Facebook stalk people for a living. I tweet about my mom way too often, who is constantly trying to remind me that I'm not nearly as cool as I think I am. Please send me funny stories to read at work here:

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