Why you should be glad to be cool and going back to school
Megan Orr, Opinions Editor // Illustration by Natalie Heaman
Like so many hazy, rose-coloured memories from childhood (Christmas, New Year’s and birthdays before we realized what getting older actually entailed) summer months seem to always fall short of our expectations. We spend eight months of the year in Vancouver begging for sunshine and warmth. It’s our reward for putting up with the cold and dreary weather all year round. Summer: it’s not to say that it can’t be filled with some of the best memories of our lives, but generally it’s overrated. To sum it up, summer is sweaty, smoky and stinky.
The major flaw with summer is that we still apply our childlike innocence to it. We’re done school so that means we get to have fun, right? Wrong. It means finding a full-time job, working our butts off till we’re so tired that we don’t want to do anything, and then feeling guilty because summer is wasting away while we watch Netflix in our underwear with a fan blowing at our sweaty bits. When the weekend rolls around, we overbook ourselves to make up for a week of mundanity, and end up feeling stressed and experiencing fear of missing out (FOMO) when we can’t honour all of our engagements (and we can never fit everything in).
While the Millennial sense of humour tends to allow for a great deal of self-deprecation, FOMO is no laughing matter. “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by social media posts,” is its official description. It was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. It’s really a flaw of our generation. We work extremely hard and barely make ends meet, only to be barraged on social media with images of people living their best lives. It’s hard to feel like we aren’t missing out on something all the time. How will people even know you’ve had a good time if you don’t take a bunch of pictures and at least one cool boomerang? It doesn’t matter if it’s even something we are interested in. If it looks cool, surely it’s something we should be doing?
The truth is, the routine that comes with going back to school should be quite welcome. Having a set schedule and set responsibilities is good for us. A 2016 Huffington Post article by Maureen Hagan discussed the importance of striking balance as fall approaches. “Striking a balance is about setting priorities and molding them in a way that your schedule incorporates a flow between life, work and everything else in-between,” wrote Hagan.
So as we pack our summer clothes away for the year, and with it the hopes of ever achieving our #goals summer bod, we can also say farewell to a disappointing season of false expectations. Not to mention that the cold air means less smoke, smog and sweat and we can finally whip out our cozy fall wardrobes. However, as spring gives way to clear skies next year, it’s okay to hope for better from #summer2019.