Every summer vacation EVER

Expectation versus reality: The bitter truth

By Alice Peter-Bhagtaney

KARACHI: Summer vacation is arguably the best phase of school and college life. It’s something you look forward to every year and you diligently plan for it. Be it in terms of learning a new language, taking up a new internship or even just generally chilling out, almost all these things are planned way in advance. But lo and behold, there are a lot of downers as well during this phase. Here’s an outline of what a typical summer vacay looks like:

1. The first day

This is probably the only day when you want to make every hour count. You skip sleep, call up all your friends, watch pending shows and movies, read books and secretly start wishing that one day had more hours than 24 hours in a day. You only stop when you’ve exhausted yourself to the core and realise you still have another two months or so to do whatever you want. This is when you throw away that alarm clock like a boss. Yay!

2. A month later 

You had all these plans before your vacation started. You wanted to take swimming classes, eat healthy, drink lots of water, learn German or French while you’re at it but somehow none of that worked out. You slept your way through those 30 days, only waking up to stuff yourself with junk food and Netflix. You bailed on all your friends because you just wanted to stay in. And now you’re depressed because life isn’t feeling as great as you’d hoped.

3. One month and one day later 

You decide enough is enough. You close the Netflix tab on your browser for good and start hunting for internships. You drink eight glasses of water, take a shower, get dressed and are now ready to face the world.

4. Two months later 

You found that internship you’d been looking for and have spent a total of 10 days. You feel you’ve learnt all there is to learn about ‘adulting’ and are feeling pretty good and motivated right about now. You judge all your friends who are partying away their vacations and continue to bail on them because you have to work.

5. Two months and three days later 

The long hours of the internship are beginning to rub off on you. You feel more tired than you did while your semester was still ongoing. You crave pulling all-nighters to binge-watch shows and mostly, you miss your friends. You’re basically struggling and feeling dead on the inside.

6. Two months, three days and 12 hours later 

You tell yourself “fuck this”, because life is too short. You call up that ‘party’ friend of yours and plan to meet for drinks and dinner. And that night turns out to be the best night of your vacation. Two words: pure perfection.

7. Two months and four days later

You wake up with a bad hangover. You curse yourself for having no self-control whatsoever. Then, you spend an hour in bed telling yourself that you need to make it big in life because you’re not like those other people. You are brilliant. But when you do end up going to work, you get grilled for showing up late.

8. Two months and 15 days later

Life has become monotonous. You hate your internship. You despise waking up for it every day. So you start contemplating how important your internship really is. “I’m not learning shit,” you tell yourself. Plus, “If I don’t have fun now then I’ll just show up to school/college tired af. I won’t be fresh and that is definitely going to affect my performance.” You decide it’s time to say goodbye to ‘adulting’ and hello to ‘vacationing’.

9. The last hurrah

The last five days of your vacation are a blur. You find yourself out of time because you want to do so much, watch so many things, but there isn’t enough time. “If only I hadn’t taken that stupid internship,” you tell yourself. But then you remember that you need to submit that internship certificate on your first day back to school/college. You start going stationary shopping and it feels great but you also have this indescribable sinking feeling you can’t seem to get rid of. “It’s okay,” you tell yourself. “Eid-ul-Adha holidays are just around the corner.” You also start envying people who have taken trips abroad as you scroll through your Instagram feed. All in all, you don’t want to go back but you know it’s all over. The only thing you want to tell your vacation is:

10. Back to school 

Finally, you go back to school two and a half months later, having achieved nothing substantial and looking like this:

But you shut down all the haters who comment on your appearance by saying:

That’s all folks! Happy vacationing!


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