For nearly a quarter of a century, your summer months were spent poolside, at the lake, on the beach, riding roller coasters and playing baseball. Well, that decent-enough compensation package from your employer comes with some sacrifices, most disappointingly the elimination of your summer break. It really shouldn’t be that bad, right? In college, you were working or taking summer classes during summer break, so how much worse could it really be? Maybe it’s just the principle that you’re no longer free to do whatever the hell you please from late May to early September, but adult summer seems like hell.
Relax. Summer is still summer. It’s like pizza, still good no matter how bad it is. You just get to enjoy it two (sometimes three) days a week instead of all the time. This isn’t the end of the world. Summer isn’t as awesome as it used to be, but it’s still pretty damn awesome. What follows is a simple guide to enjoying post grad summers for the rest of your life.
Some companies already give their employees shortened Friday hours during the summer. I was lucky enough that my first job was one of these companies. Our work was usually done by 10:30 or 11am, we went out to lunch, and then four of us hit the golf course. Even if your company doesn’t have summer hours on Friday, it’s still completely fine to jet out a couple of hours early at the end of the week. If you have your work done, there’s no point in sticking around and wasting time trying to look busy. Your boss has probably already been gone for hours, anyway. Log out, punch out, and hit the links or start day drinking. Actually, go home and take a nap. You’re tired.
Hopefully you have some. There’s nothing better than the feeling of walking out of your office on the last day before a summer vacation. I usually go with the “half now, half later” approach to my vacation days, taking a couple of vacations during the summer and then another in the cold heart of winter. Except I typically reserve my summer vacation for a long trip with friends, whether it’s a short drive down to someone’s lake house, or a quick weekender to Vegas. Summer just makes everything better.
After a curiously long break between New Year’s and Memorial Day, the summer holiday season triumphantly arrives like Prince Ali Ababwa arriving at Agrabah to bed the Princess Jasmine in the 1992 Disney smash hit and laugh riot, “Aladdin.” Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day mark the long-standing tradition of the three-day summer weekend, although sometimes July 4th falls in the middle of the week and you essentially have to go through Monday twice in the same week. But no less, the summer holidays offer a great escape during the longest days of the year. The smell of bbq fills the air, and everyone’s patriotism seems to be at an all-time high during this time of year. Work seems like a distant thought on holiday weekends, with three full days to really soak in the best summer has to offer. You’ll still smell like smoked meats, sunscreen and fireworks at work the next week. It’s a beautiful thing.
Public pools are now a thing of the past. In all likelihood, you’ve signed a lease at a large apartment complex that has a community pool. Unfortunately, they don’t allow alcohol on the pool deck, but that’s not going to stop you. You’ve been through the tribulations of getting hooch into non-hooch places many times before. Load up a thermos with margs and claim your chaise lounge in a prime spot next to your pool. Plenty of young hard-bodies flock to the pool at all hours of the day, so cool off, turn some neighbors into friends or potential future former sexual partners. The apartment complex pool is the modern-day oasis, lush with aesthetically pleasing scenery and people looking to have a good time. Don’t forget your sunblock.
Yes. Air conditioning. I can’t tell you how many times I feel like falling asleep at my desk during winter while the heat in the office is blasting. It feels like I’m falling into a deep, warm bowl of pudding that just begs me to close my eyes and fall asleep. During the summer, AC keeps me cool and focused. It’s science.
That first blast of cool air from your car’s vents after its inside temperature has reached 120-degrees from baking in the sun all day is glorious. Sweet, sweet relief. Just hope your desk isn’t underneath a vent in your office, or else you’ll probably turn into that weirdo who keeps a jacket on the back of his computer chair in July. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a big fan of the conditioned air. The summer months are my favorite months of the year by far, and the cool blast out of a central air vent hitting your face while the summer heat cooks everything outside of your window is one of my favorite things in this world. It’s the little things in life.