May 28, 2010

Staving off the summertime blues

How to spend your 106 days of summer

As this is the last issue of the Maroon for spring quarter, right now would be the perfect time for some kind of retrospective of the past school year. However, finding myself lacking in opinions regarding established issues, I’ve decided to look ahead for opinions about future situations, which is to say, the coming summer. This is not as groundbreaking as it sounds, as these hypothetical situations are in large part determined by past summers, either personally experienced or seen on poorly-written sitcoms. Below, you will find a veritable goldmine of opinions, all pointing you to the best summer of your life. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

Wear sunscreen. But really, what more can I say about that?

If you are living at home this summer, try not to get on your parents’ bad sides early on. This may be a difficult task, depending on your summer plans and how much they involve watching reruns of America’s Next Top Model while still wearing your pajamas, your current relationship with your parents, the presence of siblings (along with the general success and/or cuteness of these siblings compared to you), as well as other considerations. It may in fact be inevitable that you will get on your parents’ bad sides, but try to stave this off until they have at least given you a ride to the airport.

Do not wear flip-flops to work, if you are working. This is not an all-encompassing rule, as you may be employed as a lifeguard. In this case, flip-flops are perfectly acceptable, and, some would even say, proper footwear. However, in most work places—no matter how laid-back—flip-flops are a bad choice. At best, they will look sloppy and unprofessional. At worst, they will make loud, obnoxious noises when you run or walk quickly, making it difficult both to be stealthy and to escape from uncomfortable and/or dangerous situations, like stern talks from your boss about not wearing flip-flops to work.

Have a good story to share. While, in theory, the days of the first-day-of-school essay about your summer are far behind us, in practice, many of us will be taking rudimentary language classes this coming fall, in which such an essay will be required. In that case, you should probably have something to write about besides reruns of America’s Next Top Model, especially considering that the emotional complexity of that program may be difficult to convey in a language you don’t know very well. Try to do something that involves basic words, like going to the grocery store or eating at a restaurant of a cultural group that uses the language you are learning. Other options include picking up a hobby, like tocando la guitara.

Also, just do something that will make you change out of those flip-flops. This is going to be a tough summer for a lot of us, especially when it comes to finding summer employment. If this is worrying you, consider going for jobs that you wouldn’t normally. If you still can’t find one, volunteer somewhere. You’ll feel better about yourself, and it’s not a huge deal if you’re not getting paid, if you’re living with your parents (please refer to opinion #2 on that one). In retrospect, these aren’t exactly the types of rules that are going to get you the best summer ever. But considering that you’ll be around for a while, I don’t think you need one of those just yet (Go ahead and save it for your midlife crisis). Get yourself a summer you can own up to, and you’ll be golden. Well, figuratively golden. Hopefully you’ll have worn some sunscreen.

Alison Howard is a second-year in the College majoring in English.