Lack of Summertime Sanity

Summer is the time of bikinis, fruity drinks and all-out partying.

This media-fueled image is probably one of the most inaccurate depictions ever. Summers rarely go as expected. The days blur together and speed past until it is fall again. Yet media hypes up summer to give teenagers unrealistic expectations.

To fulfill these empty notions, teenagers do stupid things. They go to stupid parties trying to lose their senses through stupid things. According to Christine Hammond, a licensed Mental Health Counselor, the most stupid things teenagers try over summer break include huffing, drinking bleach and taking eyeball shots of vodka. Things spin out of control, and bam! Someone’s life is ruined forever.

Or if things aren’t that wild, teenagers go towards the complete opposite end of the excitement spectrum. For most students, the reality of summer is two and a half months of mindless television-watching and junk food consumption.

If there is any summer homework, teenagers wave it away and instead procrastinate on the last day of summer. I admit, I was one of these zombies last summer. I took summer classes Fridays and Saturdays, but for the other five days of the week, I would get up at noon, eat, nap, watch television and sleep. And I felt guilty every day because of it.

We are a generation of slack-jawed, unproductive human vegetables.

We are a generation of slack-jawed, unproductive human vegetables. What happened to creating a lemonade stand from scratch? What happened to having a summer job? The sons and daughters of former go-getters now make up a society of phone-obsessed, pop junk-holic.

Even as the year comes to a close, all students ever think about is how to relax and have fun. The majority of the kids plan pool parties and hang-outs, or make lists of movies to stream on Netflix or blogs to follow on Tumblr. Granted, after a long school year, students do deserve rest. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to completely let loose and forgo all responsibilities.

I believe there must be a balance between being productive and being a couch potato. Sure, relaxing is great. But working hard and then reaping the benefits by relaxing is even greater. As clichéd as this sounds, the view from the top of the hill is a whole lot greater than rolling around in the dirt road to stare up at the long distance you have to travel.

So don’t be the friend in your group who says they did nothing or did something stupid this summer.

Go out and actually do something productive! Join Glendale’s Teen Advisory Group to get help out Glendale Public Libraries. Or get a job as a volunteer at either Glendale Adventist Medical Center or Glendale Memorial Hospital. You can even get a lifeguarding license. Or for those of us who are still lacking self transportation, you can work on driver’s ed. And for all those juniors out there, maybe you can start thinking of senior project ideas that you’d actually like to do. You don’t have to find the cure for cancer or something else just as epic. Just be productive and have fun.