Alternate title: How I’ll Be Spending My Time Between Now and September
Currently I am experiencing this glorious thing called “grad school.” It’s kind of like high school meets The Hunger Games meets British boarding school, if you know what I mean. The cool thing is that I went back for a graduate degree three full years after completing my undergrad, so this whole “summer break” concept is particularly exciting because it’s been a hot minute since I had one. Even though I’m taking a summer course, I am making the most of this summer. After all, if you live in the morally-bankrupt, traffic-filled, smog-scented hellscape that is LA county, your only two options in the summer are to
A) embrace this triple-digit purgatory
B) slip into a crippling depression and slowly die in a puddle of your own sweat
As you’ll see, I’ve chosen option A.
Let’s be clear – summer is not my favorite season. I live for looming grey clouds, below-freezing temperatures, icy winds, and snow. But when you are an adult who is also conveniently once again a college student, summer also means freedom. And when you have one year left in your grad program, summer means the last time you will ever have three months of sweet freedom like this unless you fail to find employment when you graduate, or if you get fired and then become chronically unemployed, or if you get knocked up and your millionaire baby daddy convinces you to become a stay-at-home-mom but that’s not really freedom because then you’re just on booger-and-butt-wiping-duty 24/7 with no end in sight and now this is depressing so let’s move on.
ANYWAY. The sweet, sweet freedom of summer has thus far been glorious, and I figured I would share some ideas for fun summer activities in case anyone else is reliving their childhood, in grad school, unemployed, or just playing hooky.
10 Fun & Exciting Summer Activities
- Be naked. Summer is all about hot weather, and what better way to be the heat than be naked as much as possible. This obviously works better if you do it indoors and only when your roommate is out of the house, but who am I to keep you from being a revolutionary?
- Freeze things. Again, this boils down to beating the heat. You can freeze all kinds of snacks and it automatically makes them fun summer foods. You can freeze grapes. And watermelon. And pineapple. And chocolate peanut butter cups. And wine. But don’t stop at food! You can freeze other things for more summer fun, too, like underwear and hairbrushes and your neighbor’s yappy little rat-dog.
- Channel your inner lizard. And by that, I mean lounge in the sun with your tail out (or at least in bikini bottoms). You can lube yourself up in SPF50 if that helps you believe soaking up all that vitamin D is less terrible for you that way. But you must be absolutely sure that when you are lounging like said lizard, you are fully channeling your inner lizard. This means lying there in luxurious stillness, basking in the feel of that great ball of fire in the sky shooting its cancer-rays at your nearly-bare buttcheeks. The only appropriate excuse for movement in this scenario would be to lift your iced beverage of choice to your lips or roll into the pool to cool off. This is, of course, a much more comfortable endeavor if the pool your are lying by is not also occupied by several middle-aged dads who brought their small children out to swim, and/or if you are not wearing a swimsuit that is best described as a “decorative wedgie.” But you do you, boo.
- Step up your instagram game. That is, if people still use instagram. I can’t keep up with the times – I still have (and regularly use) facebook, which makes me about 82 years old in pop-culture years. But I think people are still on instagram, and what better excuse than summertime for gratuitous photos of you in a bikini, you at a country music concert, you on a trendy swan-shaped pool float, close-ups of your beer right next to your boobs, close-ups of your butt in a bikini, and the classic (not to be confused with classy) over-the-shoulder bikini butt shot. Not to mention all the lighting, angles, and filters that need to be perfectly applied. So many selfies, so little summertime.
- Play games with fate by going hiking. See, hiking is normally a wonderful and fun thing to do. I genuinely love it, wish I could go more often. But hiking in the summertime is particularly exciting because there’s always that one big question – will I survive? Normal hiking, in normal climates, is relatively low-risk unless you fall off a cliff or get eaten by a bear or run out of snacks and have to Donner Party it up. But in the summer, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game, especially if you live in the hot nasty hellscape that is Commiefornia (heat makes me grumpy, but I stand by what I said). Hiking becomes a game of questions: Will I run out of water and shrivel up into a dehydrated pile of bones and ash? Will I encounter a rattlesnake and end up succumbing to its venomous bite because I’m nowhere near agile enough to leap out of the way? Will I find myself face to face with a mountain lion and end up on a local news station with my pitiful 911 call being played and pictures of my mauled body being hauled away by park rangers? NO ONE KNOWS AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT SO EXCITING. (PS I really do love nature. I’m just also terrified by it.)
- Become a bartender. By this, I mean, add tequila to every beverage imaginable, and call yourself a bartender. Really, what better time than summer to experiment with cocktail-creating? It’s hot, you’re already thirsty and sweaty, and you probably have people over for a bbq. Even if you’re not hosting a bbq, surely you have some feral cats in the backyard or some stoner neighbors who are frequently passing around both bongs and beer bottles on their front porch (If not, then we have wildly different living situations.), and surely they would be glad to act as taste-testers. Plus, summertime is when stores like Trader Joe’s come out with fun juices like “jalapeno limeade,” which are basically just margaritas in their infancy. So take some of the frozen things from Fun & Exciting Summer Activity #1 (the edible things only, unless you’re into weird stuff and have a digestive tract of steel) and throw them in a blender with your alcohol of choice, and you’ll basically be Don Draper.
- Take a vacation. I’ve heard this is what adults do in the summer, and mostly I’ve heard this from pinterest. So find a good deal on tickets and explore some corner of the world you’ve never been…preferably one with palm trees and oceans and tan natives with coconut bras. If you can’t afford a vacation, just drive around town for 4 hours then come home, make yourself some fruity-ass drink, and take a bath while you play ocean sounds on your phone. It’ll feel like a road trip to the beach.
- Perfect the art of doing your own bikini wax. You’ll save money and avoid the hassle of shaving, not to mention the beauty of being bikini-ready for weeks on end! It’s the best…Just kidding, don’t do this, I tried it once and spoiler alert: It ends with you sitting spread eagle on the floor, sweating in pain as you rip half-dried wax off your lady-parts in tiny little pinches while you laugh hysterically to keep from crying. Honestly, masking tape probably would have been more effective. (So the really fun thing to do is go pay a stranger $50 to rip out all your pubes because they are professionals who actually know what they’re doing.)
- Go to a country concert. Ok, to be fair, I haven’t ever done this. And probably won’t be doing this anytime soon, unless I can find a sugar daddy to sponsor such an activity, because country concerts are really expensive. Which is kind of weird to me, because these country singers are usually folks who grew up in a double-wide trailer behind the Circle K in some podunk Mississippi town, and they learned to play the guitar and type II diabetes and all that, and then they went on American Idol and finally made it out of Dodge or whatever their hometown was called. The point is Lord knows that they wouldn’t have been able to afford $200 concert tickets back when they were getting started, so why are they charging their loyal fans – to whom they owe their successful careers in the music industry – that damn much? RIDDLE ME THAT, OK, KENNY CHESNEY? But don’t worry, the broke-bitch alternative to a country concert is simple and sweet: Set up a lawn chair on your front porch, crack open a cold one, and sit there in your underwear and cowboy boots while you blast your favorite country songs from your phone. Hell, invite your stoner neighbors to join, they probably can’t afford tickets either.
- Read all the things. Really, read all the books and articles that you “don’t have time for” during the rest of the year when you’re swamped with school/work. Take a full day to pack up a bunch of books (and probably lunch and snacks, too, if you’re a hungry monkey like me) and take yourself to a coffeeshop and spend the day there reading. JUST FOR FUN. Ugh, I’m getting all tingly just thinking about it. And let’s be clear, no email checking or instagramming or tinder-swiping is allowed when you’re reading! (And really, if you’re still using tinder, what is even happening in your life? Go get a therapist, some hobbies, and an STD test.) I want to say audiobooks count, but that’s mostly because I think it would be hilarious to play the 50 Shades audiobook really loudly in a crowded coffeeshop and see what people say. But I don’t want to get arrested, so I’ll let one of the braver souls out there give it a go. Do report back and let us know how it goes, ok?