Summer Holidays: Expectations Vs Reality
Jazz is back with a hilarious comic about how your plans for school summer holidays don’t always go to plan.
…the season is upon us. of freshly cut grass, picnics, road trips and long summer nights.
The time is finally here; the season is upon us. of freshly cut grass, picnics, road trips and long summer nights.
I think it’s safe to say the last few months have been hectic. Horrors have ranged from finishing exams to deadlines punching you in the face, and not to mention student finance, which I still remember like the aftermath of a nightmare that therapy just wont fix. You all deserve it; for a lot of you it’s the last summer together with your homeboys and girls before you all jet off to uni, and the last thing you want is to get called up for jury service a week after turning eighteen (true story…props to my brother).
I’ve been busy making plans for the summer in an attempt to avoid becoming an integrated part of the sofa. I’ve done it before and I’ve come to the realisation that given we have approximately fourteen hours of sun over the course of ‘summer’, we need to make the most of every damn second.
But despite this wildly optimistic mind-set and hopeful ideology, things never quite seem to work out that way, do they?
But despite this wildly optimistic mind-set and hopeful ideology, things never quite seem to work out that way, do they? And I think that’s because it’s very easy to forget we live in the UK. The land where the sun teases you by making brief public appearances only to duck out the moment the shorts and sunnies come out. The land where days to the beach and majestic dreams of sand between the toes and warm blue water are replaced with sad deflating dinghy’s and seagulls diving nose-first into your cone of chips.
But you have to laugh. Despite the wind and the cold and the many camping trips to flooded campsites you will endure, I have grown to love these trips with my family that I once resented as a youngster. Another one of my summer plans is to draw more- it’s something I easily neglect when there’s a world of distractions out my window. And so therefore, I’ve created a comic series depicting ‘a typical summer in your teens’, which compares the expectations of these long-awaited summer months, to the startling reality.
The Beach Trip
It was meant to be a great forecast, so naturally let’s go to the beach. The car ride there is spent lusting after a Mediterranean-style coastline. But within half an hour, the heavens have opened and you’re greeted upon arrival with what looks like a scene from ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. And for us Bristol folk; the setting is usually Weston-Super-Mare.
‘Where is the sea?’ you hear people ask. Brilliant question” where is the sea? We could run 10km towards to horizon and still not find the sea. But in its place is quicksand; and all of a sudden we’re in a scene from The Woman In Black. But this was YOUR idea. You dragged your mates here in the promise of sandy beaches and instead there’s a 95% chance your day will be spent eating ice cream on a ferris wheel.
The Freshly Cut Grass.
When you ask people their favourite thing about summer, they’ll usually tell you: freshly cut grass. Yes, it smells great but for some people, like me, we become a victim. For hayfever sufferers, we may as well be a walking ball of pollen: there is no escape. Sneezing becomes a reflex upon immediate contact with the outside world and our faces turn into red puffy footballs. Kleenex is never outside of arm’s reach and god forbid it ever is.
The Exercise Regime
With all those toxic ‘Summer Body’ DVDs, adverts, posters, books trying to niggle their way into your life it’s pretty hard to not get sucked in. Generally, the plan starts a week before summer, and it doesn’t always take long before it becomes clear the ‘body plans’ and ‘abs challenges’ jumping off every magazine cover are firstly not realistic, and secondly, completely unnecessary. It doesn’t matter how many crunches you can do, or what day you reached on the squat challenge, it doesn’t determine what makes a good body. And don’t let them trick you into thinking otherwise. Go to the beach, eat ice cream, have fun.
This was always the initial plan of action upon school or college break. Finally, time can be well-spent kicking back with your two best mates; Bed and Duvet while the world outside flies by. It’s 7am and the cat has other ideas. There’s nothing quite like being woken up with claws and a paw to the face before realising you’ve been pinned down, cornered, helpless. At 9am, mum has other ideas. Before you know it you’re doing last night’s dishes, making pack lunches and washing every car in the street. The new summer curfew was abused last night when you came home loud and late, and it quickly occurs to you.. there really ain’t no rest for the wicked.
Support more young people to have their voices heard
Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.