The Expectation of Summer
For most kids, the end of school means expectation. An expectation of excitement. They spend the last few weeks counting days, hours, minutes, and seconds. They start to throw away papers and talk about all of their great plans and where they’re going. Even those that enjoy school begin to get excited about leaving for two months. The prospect of being about to wake up whenever you want is nice after ten months of waking up early to make sure you don’t look like you fell out of bed into a garbage dump five minutes before the bus came. But if you want a better, more productive summer, you have to make it for yourself.
A few of the more popular vacations here are flying to the states, Guam or Jeju, and most kids ends up doing one of those. Most parents plan for those vacations, but while you may be in the states for a month, you start to miss being in your own house, and cramped quarters becomes stressing. A trip to Guam or Jeju usually only lasts for about a week. You come back home and are back to the old routine of sleeping until 10:00 and eating nothing but peanut butter. Even a short trip to Seoul may get a kid excited, especially because it is somewhere to go, something to do rather than sit. Everyone expects something out of summer, but their expectation rarely becomes a reality.
Usually it plays out a different way.
The last day of school comes. Swarms of friends all head to the PX or the pool, making big plans to meet up here or there and spend a week together eating nothing but ice cream. But after that one big thing, nobody sees each other until school starts. A few may spend a week somewhere and a lot end up going to the states, but very few people actually do anything. You may sleep in every day, or eat way too much food, or fall asleep on the couch at noon and wake up a 11:00. By the time June is over, most kids are ready for school to start again because of the total boredom.
We all make plans for the summer, and for some of us, they’re not even exciting plans. It may be to run once a day, or to practice a certain subject, or maybe to learn a new language. The point is that even with the plans we may make, summer takes a certain amount of work. Having a more productive summer is beneficial to the next school year. For example, if you were to decide to practice math once a day, you would have less of the learning loss when school came and you would be better prepared. Even spending a little time cleaning your house or taking walk is better for you because it gets you up and moving around. It’s work to get up early in the morning and start running, or to get a head start on that class and learn Spanish. If you want a better, more productive summer, you have to make it for yourself.