Amongst many clichéd witticisms, I failed to find any famous or literary quote that perfectly excused the silence of a blog and lack of post for over a year. The onslaught of A-level work and self-imposed additional responsibilities go someway to explain it. Lethargy covers the rest. That and it becomes like a text message you forgot about and after a certain period of time it’s too awkward to try and reply. But that’s the apology. Moving on.
The summer for many is a period of waiting – for the next school year, for the next big step. A great number of people my age wait for the results in August to determine their place in University, or other form of higher education. Until then, plans are essentially un-makeable. Which, if you’re anything like me, is a terrifying prospect. Therefore the time must be filled with endless distracting activities – after all, nearly four months of a summer holiday may start fun but ends up quite daunting when you don’t have anything to do, even on the days where you don’t make it out of bed until the afternoon. Or when that something to do ends up being the first two seasons of Game of Thrones in as many days (and by the old gods and the new I hate Joffrey. I swear that there has never been such an insufferable character in anything before. Ever.) And when you’ve only got the first five seasons of One Tree Hill and you’re still munching your way through the remnants of Easter chocolate (it’s alright, I can’t believe it either) endless days of TV quickly becomes dull, sickly and fattening.
Some would say that the time should be used for fun or education – though somehow I don’t think learning a dozen different plaits and planning to use your little sister as a human doll counts with that. Fun’s a lot easier to have, however, when you have the funds to do it. Having quit my two-year job at the much-adored bookstore Waterstones, in order to concentrate on my exams, I now inexplicably have the time to spend with the people I want to and yet a dwindling supply of finances with which I can do things. An unfair paradigm, I think. Add to that the mixture of holidays that people enjoy and the seeming endless summer is radically reduced to a number of short days in which to spend time with people who in a few months will be scattered across the nation. Ah, first world problems.
Volunteering or work experience opportunities are another option (though to my disappointment, I learned you have to get in quite early for the local ones you want. Bristol is just a little too far away for a placement.) Indeed, helping out at the library for the Summer Reading Challenge is a great time-filler, as well as a great use for my obscure knowledge of children’s books and OCD for alphabetical and numerical order. Even if it does feel like just doing my job without the pay check and staff perks. Not exactly like they’re needed though – at last check (another product of boredom) I have over 50 books unread on my shelf. Hmm. I would, however, not recommend this if you aren’t a fan of children; you’ve got to be prepared for the small ones running at you during an art and crafts session and end up returning home covered in more glitter and sequins than those of a notorious dancing profession – need I say more?
The summer may also be one of new experiences for many – a holiday with friends, a new talent, a new job. Or in my case, donating blood for the first time, something I would encourage of others too. This being said, I haven’t done it yet – I may retract this encouragement if I end up freaking out and passing out or rolling round crying in a complete overreaction to any amount of pain there may be. Following that, I’ve signed up to the charity annual Colour Run (ie Colour Walk) at the end of the summer. Not entirely sure why my efforts to help seem to wind up in my pain and degradation, but there we go. Wish me luck guys.
To everyone else waiting on the results and the end of the summer, I borrow a quote a friend of mine used at the beginning of the school year: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” So enjoy the summer – for now there is nothing that can be done. In the words of Blink-182 (or Blink-183 depending on who of my friends you talk to - may I mention that I get to see one of my favourite bands in less than two weeks…?) it’s time for “a summer that they could call, memory that’s full of fun.” Enjoy.