That special time when high school students across the nation rejoice, teachers breathe a secret sigh of relief, and Netflix executives dance in glee over their expected increases in viewership.
The same way finals week represents Hell on earth, summertime embodies Heaven to most teenagers. Except I have one problem when it comes to summer. All these bonfires, dreamy beach-front relationships, and Indie music festivals are great, but are they really summer goals?
Summer 2015 Goals pic.twitter.com/2aRyE7T4od
— Lets Be Real (@iadorewomen_) June 1, 2015
Summer goals 🌅 pic.twitter.com/2oayr1d3f7
— Closet Goals (@CIosetGoaIs) June 7, 2015
summer goals with best friends💕🌴☀️ pic.twitter.com/J4VPVzJFc2
— forever tan☀️ (@TanBiitches) May 31, 2015
It seems that all I see when I scroll through my Twitter feed these days are these idealistic pictures of attractive people doing outlandish things, all captioned as summer goals, and I don’t especially like it. Don’t get me wrong, I like summer as much as the next guy. I just might have a slightly different viewpoint on what makes a good summer compared to others my age.
For me, summertime offers the unique opportunity to discover who I am and what I want to do in this big world. During the school-year, I am ID number 21241 and a skeptical owner of an AP Euro textbook so worn down that it could be a relic from the times it has taught me about. Yet once the school bell rings for the last time, I feel free. Free to pursue my own adventures, my own failures, and definitely my own summer goals. Granted, my aspirations wouldn’t garner nearly as many retweets on Twitter than an alluring couple at the beach sporting that now all familiar caption, but that’s okay. I’m not trying to become Twitter famous, at least at the moment.
I would rather see more individuals pursuing their own ambitions than worrying about meeting unrealistic expectations that they’ve seen on social media. My summer goals don’t exactly fit the definition of normal, except for watching a healthy amount of Friends on Netflix of course. It’s only been a few days since I’ve been on vacation, but I’ve already started brushing up on my French, writing articles, and even learning German.
If someone had told me a few months ago that I would be learning German of all things during my summer vacation, chances are that I would’ve simply laughed it off. But, I suppose the freedom (or freiheit in German!) of summertime has gotten to me. Just knowing that I can pursue whatever I want for these ten glorious weeks thrills me. It gives me a taste of the not so distant future when I won’t have to listen to my high school’s anthem every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during announcements ten months out of the year.
I haven’t mapped out all the details of my adventure yet, but I know it’s going to be a wild ride. I also know that it’s going to be unique, and that social media’s expectations of my experience can just take a hike. I’d like to encourage people to adopt that kind of carefree, daring attitude this summer, because who knows where it might take you? Whether it’s learning German, meeting someone new, or discovering a new talent that you never even knew you had, it’s sure to be an unforgettably distinct experience. Just please, remember not to caption those wonderfully unique photos as indistinguishably ordinary summer goals.
By Sam Gorman, Founder of Youngchange-Bestchange
Inspired to make a difference this summer? Find out the five best ways to take action here.