It’s summer, which means students are finally out of school and ready to bug you at any give time of day, as opposed to only after 4 PM. Whether you’re currently enjoying your summer break or you simply remember having one once many eons ago, I think we can all agree it’s not exactly the experience the movies make it out to be.
If a movie character were asked to keep a journal of his or her day-to-day summer experience, it would probably be full of exciting stories and interesting lessons learned. In real life, though, keeping a summer journal usually involves either documenting your meals or procrastinating for three months and then making something up the night before the new semester starts. Here are just a few differences between the Hollywood summer experience and the normal, nonfiction summer experience.
1. You don’t get to goof off at your summer job.
If you’re able to find a job at all, it’s most likely not going to involve hanging out with your friends and slacking off all day. When movie characters get summer jobs, they’re very summery things like as camp counselors or lifeguards or amusement park employees. In real life you’re either listening to people complain about not wanting ketchup on their burger or filing things at your dad’s office.
2. You don’t have a whirlwind romance.
If you do experience any kind of summer fling, it’ll probably just involve making out with your friend’s visiting cousin at a birthday party or flirting with the guy making slushies at the movie theater. You won’t fall in love with someone from the wrong side of the tracks, your parents won’t forbid you from seeing them, and you won’t have a tearful goodbye.
3. You still have to think about school.
When was the last time a kid in a movie had to read ten novels and complete a hundred-page math packet before the new school year started? It’s always “Yay freedom! No more responsibilities until until next semester!” And don’t even get me started on the movie characters who are about to start college. Why aren’t they spending their time making detailed lists of all the toiletries they’ll need to bring with them and shopping for extra-long duvet covers?
4. You’re more likely to vacation with your family than your friends.
Oh, you want to go backpacking with your friends around Europe? Good luck finding a week when you’re all available and paying for it all on your own and making sure everyone’s parents have given permission. Most likely you’ll be getting food poisoning on a cruise ship while your little brother tells you to “stop hitting yourself.”
5. Summer doesn’t “change” you.
You’re not going to “find yourself” over summer vacation. The biggest change people will notice in you when you go back to school is that you cut three inches off your hair and got a particularly bad sunburn. Has “coming of age” ever happened to anyone outside a movie?
6. You spend very little time at the beach.
Unless you live on the coast, you’re probably not going to be swimming or surfing or building sand castles all that much, if at all. And that bathing suit you bought to wear to the pool? You’ll probably never use it because you can’t be bothered to shave your legs.
7. You have zero adventures.
You won’t find any dead bodies or aliens or treasure maps. You’ll mostly just wake up at 2 PM, watch TV, call your friend to hang out but get no answer, try to read one of the books on your list but fall asleep after five minutes, wake up and eat something, watch more TV, eat more things, stay up until 5 in the morning on YouTube, then fall asleep and repeat the next day. What an adventure.