Twentysomething Summers

Summertime and the livin’ is easyyyyy.

And let me tell you, my summertime livin’ sure is easy. I can get enough of it! As a twentysomething, I think this is the only time in my life when I can truly appreciate a full summer to myself. Yes, I do have to work, but that makes me appreciate summer livin’ that much more.

During the year, I’m bogged down with a chaotic work schedule during the day and night classes in the evenings. By the time the weekend rolls around, I’m either too exhausted to do anything or am catching up on sleep that I barely got during the week. And because of all that, I can truly appreciate the breezy life of a summertime twentysomething.

It’s ironic that I’m writing this now, considering the harsh rainy storm happening outside my window. I think it’s a metaphor. Not every day is going to be summer livin’, especially in your twenties, but I digress.

Today, I had absolutely no plans. And yet, I felt so productive! I slept in, I finished a great book, started a new book, did laundry, cooked meals for the week, went grocery shopping, and even had time to practice a little piano! Why? Because it’s summertime, baby, and the livin’ is easy.

I think society misunderstands the idea of a summer ideal for people of all ages. Sure, summer lifestyles may be relatively easier for everyone, but this post is more about why a twentysomething summer is, without a doubt, the best.

As a college student, my summers were spent one of three ways:

  1. Summer classes or summer research (which is no fun for anyone),
  2. Working a minimum wage job in order to pay off all the ice creams I knew I would consume, or
  3. Doing nothing, spending the summer at home with my parents, screaming for something to do after two weeks of nothingness.

None of these options allowed me to live life to the fullest. And though I haven’t lived the next decade of my life yet, I can’t imagine a thirtysomething summer being as great. Hopefully I’ll have a family by then, but I’ll be older, with even more responsibilities. And it won’t be about my summer livin’, but about my children’s. Which—don’t get me wrong—will be great, but not necessarily my summer.

So what’s different about having a twentysomething summer?

It’s yours. 100%. Not your parents, not your school’s, not your family’s. Yours.

Yes, I still have to work. But that is part of being an adult. Having to work all day makes me appreciate the lack of responsibility I have after work. I can read for fun, I can play piano, I can write, I can watch TV, I can hang out with my friends…or I can just sit in silence for once and be pleasantly content with that.

I think all of this came from a new-found revelation, the opposite of “Act your age, not your shoe size.” Maybe “Act your age, not your parents’ age.” Lately, I’ve been feeling like a fifty year old man, and I hate that. What does that mean for me? It means sitting home alone every night of the week. It means being excited about trying a new vegetable. It means not connecting with new people. It means being tired all the time.

And here’s the funny part: I’m not actually a fifty year old man!! Really though, you may be thinking how obvious. But it took me a long, long time to actually realize that I am indeed still a young twentysomething. I think the full-time job and rent-payments threw me off for a little bit.

I don’t mean to imply that sitting alone with a great cup of coffee and a great book is only for our elderly friends. As a twentysomething, cafes are my favorite place in the world (not the bar scene, and that’s fine). The point is, summertime livin’ is allowing me to even further explore and develop who I am and what I like to do. The year before this, I was in a small-ass rural town, and I convinced myself that sitting home alone was what I liked to do because in all honesty, there wasn’t really a second choice.

But now! I’m in a new city. A big one! With so many people around. Why not take advantage of it? I’m going to go out. Meet new people. Maybe I’ll actually go to that party someone invited me to. Or go to a karaoke night even though (I thought) karaoke was not my thing. Why not?! I’m still going to read and sit alone in Starbucks, but I think I’m just going to be a little more twentysomething about it.

What are everyone else’s twentysomething summertime plans?