The quality of your summer shouldn’t be defined by what you do
By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
As the winter semester winds down and summer break quickly approaches with promises of fun times and wild adventures ahead, the number of questions I’m having to field about my summer plans is spiking through the roof.
I find that around this time of year people start comparing their itineraries—sizing them up to see who’s going to have the “best” time off. I’m normally a last-minute traveller and as of yet have no plans for the summer break because I’ll be taking summer classes. I made that decision because I wanted to do it. Yet every time I tell someone that work and school are the only things on my agenda right now, I’m met with, “Aw! That’s too bad!”
I don’t get it—why is it “too bad” that I feel like being productive and want to save some money? It’s become increasingly frustrating to me that so many people define the quality of their summer by how much they do and where they go. I even had a classmate—upon telling her my apparently “boring” plans—respond with, “Oh, so you’re not up to much then!” As if two jobs and a couple of classes require the absolute minimal amount of effort compared to a two-week trek across Southeast Asia.
While I don’t get embarrassed by the fact that I have nothing exciting going on, I know that there are people who do and that really sucks. Whatever you elect to do with your summer is up to you and the only opinion that should matter when deciding your plans is your own. You don’t need to craft an eclectic summer full of expensive travel just because you’re scared that people will think you’re boring.
We live in a unique city with tons of hiking trails, beaches, and other major cities nearby for long weekend road trip adventures. There are so many interesting events taking place in the Lower Mainland that can be easily attended and taken advantage of. If you want a break but can’t afford to fly somewhere, you could even have your own little staycation (those are seriously underappreciated). Be a tourist in your own city. Sometimes it’s fun to rediscover parts of town that you generally avoid because they’re busy.
You don’t need to travel all summer to have a good time and you certainly don’t need to jam-pack your schedule with a bunch of seemingly exciting things to impress others. Do what you feel comfortable with—whatever makes sense to you. Just roll with it.
If you can travel and you feel like it, then of course you should do it! Just remember that shaming people for not going anywhere is kind of ignorant and dismissive and it doesn’t mean they’re boring. There are plenty of reasons why someone may not travel the world with every school break. Instead of making them feel lame or trying to one-up them, think about the fact that their plans may be guided by different constraints or considerations. Don’t brush them off just because their summer doesn’t feel exciting enough to you.