Before long, you’ll be a month into summer and realize cat-naps completely summarize your first month of vacation. Summer provides such false hopes of fun for the over-worked college student. However, you’re not alone. The majority of people who conjure up extravagant plans end up on the couch eating a strawberry Poptart for lunch. I know all year long you envisioned your perfect summer goals, but don’t be upset when those goals turn into bowls of defeat. In the words of Auburn University sophomore Andrea Rocchi, “Summer is a time for tan shoulders, over-ambitious expectations and an ungodly amount of watermelon.”
Expectation: You and your friends manage to save up a hefty amount of money for a bad-ass vacation over the summer. Should you get sun-kissed by the rays of Cozumel’s sun, shred some gnarly waves on the beaches of Hawaii or make snow angels in Colorado? Feeling lucky, you jot down your options on slips of paper and throw them into a hat. Hawaii wins! Squadded at the airport, Hawaii welcomes you with leis and an invite to the annual pig roast on the neighboring island. Sitting at the bar two hours later, your friend declares a toast in honor of the best summer yet.
Reality: Balling on a budget, you and your friends save a few pennies here and there depending on the amount of cereal you buy each week. The thought of heading to Panama City Beach pops into your friend’s head. Entering PCB, the weather appears dreary and the chosen hotel doesn’t resemble the picture online whatsoever. The master suite reminds you of your moldy dorm room, size and smell included. Sitting at the bar two hours later, your friend haphazardly raises her glass in hopes of staying alive through the vacation. “We planned on traveling to all the outdoorsy places, hittin’ up springs…but we ended up just day drinking before class everyday at the pool,” Florida State University senior Fletcher Dilmore said.
Expectation: Against your will, the family unit decides to spend the summer away at a wintry timeshare in Colorado. Hitting the slopes one morning, a slight collision happens towards the bottom of the hill. Apologies ensue and while wiping the snow off your goggles, a rugged gentleman stands straight in your line of vision and flashes you a smile. An instant connection sparks and the remaining summer months include your newly found beau swooning you, day and night.
Reality: Your family chooses to explore the mountainous terrain of Colorado but forget to extend the invite to you. Who else will watch Stella and Max, the trusty canines? Maybe housesitting won’t be too terribly dreadful—at least your boyfriend deems good company. Three days into resembling Kevin McCallister, your phone rings and your boyfriend of nine months pumps the breaks and releases a heart-wrenching breakup speech through your cell. “I was planning to spend this summer with my girlfriend. I just graduated and we had planned to take a trip to celebrate that. However, she ended up breaking up with me last week. So I was expecting summer love, but ended up lonely I suppose,” recent FSU graduate Melissa Budesa said. Colorado mountains never seemed so appealing.
Expectation: Not only did you land a summer internship that will boost your résumé, but it also pays. Nothing competes with gaining relevant experience for the real world all while receiving a paycheck every two weeks. Done correctly, your savings account might burst at the seams by the end of summer. When your mom calls you each morning asking if you’re in need of financial funds, you confidently reply with a strong, “No.” Your wardrobe from May to August becomes a fat wallet and a big smile.
Reality: “Broke as a joke” quickly becomes your summer mantra. Not only did you not land the summer internship you applied for, but moving back home caused you to quit your serving job at the local pizza joint near campus. Your checking account currently stands at $23.67 while your savings account, well—doesn’t exist. After witnessing the meekly numbers, your best friend informs you of the nearby Justin Bieber concert next week. Sadly, you won’t be in attendance due to your lack of funds. Ugh. More depressing than missing Bieber, FSU graduate Katie Wentley explained, “I planned to work all summer and save money for a car. I pour all of my savings in the car and it caught fire on the turnpike.” Ouch.
Expectation: Coming out of a long and productive school year, you don’t want the streak to end. Summertime won’t singularly revolve around laziness and junk food. You insist on efficiently spending 24 hours each day. Your days begin with an early wake-up call followed by a hearty breakfast and quality time with friends. Every other week, you take it upon yourself to grocery shop and tidy up around the house. When bedtime arrives, you go to sleep feeling accomplished.
Reality: “I’m literally always lazy when I need to be productive,” FSU graduate Sarah Axelrad admitted. Your bed hasn’t been made for three weeks, four days, 57 minutes and 14 seconds. You haven’t consumed a substantial meal yet; today makes the eighth day in a row you managed to digest another box of Krispy Kreme donuts. Clean underwear? Non-existent. In fact, the most productive thing accomplished thus far includes boiling Ramen in a pot instead of the microwave. No judgement; we all have our flaws. Axelrad added, “I just need a solid 12+ designated hours set aside to be productive before I could actually be productive.”
Expectation: You caved and bought a gym membership. With a gym right down the street, neighboring a Publix and a sushi restaurant—how bad could it be? The summer quickly comes to an end and you weigh yourself before heading back to prep for football season tailgates. The scale drops to your pre-freshman year weight. Thanks to Planet Fitness, you lost 10 pounds while gaining muscle tone (and rock-solid abs). Feeling better than ever, the drive back to school intensifies as you imagine walking into your apartment and watching your roommates gasp in amazement at your new bod.
Reality: No need to purchase a gym membership, the sidewalk surrounding your neighborhood stretches out to two miles. Sounds simple, right? Wake up, get a healthy jog in and start your day. The routine turns out to not be so simple when you wake up every morning and insist on staying in your pajamas until noon. The usual “I’ll do it tomorrow morning” plays on repeat every time your snooze your obnoxious sunrise alarm. Along with the lack of workouts, your diet sucks. Fried food stocks your pantry, refrigerator, cabinets and drawers all summer long.