Shift in Summer Relaxation

For students, summer is a magical time of unlimited possibility, sunshine, and pure freedom . . . or so it seems. In recent years, students’ summers have become overloaded with attempts to maximize the break’s potential. For high schoolers, summer quickly becomes an extension of the school year, crammed with activities and extra work intended to help students “get ahead” and enhance college applications.

As students advance through school, and stress and competition subsequently accelerate, the relaxation of summer becomes more and more necessary, and less and less fulfilled.

Summer is intended to be a break from the everyday stress and schedule of the school year. However, many parents and students see the summer months as an opportunity to advance academically, hoping to curate more enticing college applications.

Teenagers spend their precious summer months participating in college programs, internships, jobs, service, summer school, college preparation, and test practice––not to mention other commitments, like sports and time with friends and family. While these activities have their benefits, they also take away from summer’s purpose of relaxation.

Additionally, summer provides a useful dumping ground for all the projects no one has time for during the school year. Unfortunately, this only adds to the already hefty summer schedule, and takes away from its original promise of free time. Summer should be an opportunity to relax and restore for the next year of school.

While the school year is spent balancing an onslaught of schoolwork and extracurriculars, summer should be a chance to explore, recuperate, do enjoyable things, and spend time with friends and family.

As high schoolers, summer is one of the last opportunities to enjoy life without the pressures of school or adulthood. Rather than cramming it with bonus work and studying, summer should just be summer.