By Madison Fraser
What’s on my summer bucket list, you ask? Well, besides re-watching all six seasons of Gossip Girl on Netflix, I’m thinking of staying down at the shore all summer with my family, or perhaps working at an awesome internship. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll happen to meet the love of my life, while on my lunch break one day, and perhaps we’ll spend the whole summer falling in love while we walk down the beach, or sneak out in the middle of the night to meet up with each other in a sleepy little town.
Yeah, you caught me. This is most likely (okay, definitely) the plot to a Sarah Dessen book, but a girl can dream – right?
Romanticizing summer is what we all do best. As the bell rings marking the end of our last history class, all that comes to mind is sun-kissed skin, melty cookie dough ice cream cones, and the return of our beloved flip flops and gladiator sandals that gathered dust over the past few months.
But, in reality, while summer break does involve all these things or more, it probably also includes a few lazy days in your pj’s, smelling like burger grease (or crayons) from your part-time job, and procrastinating on your fall reading assignments.
So where does finding that coveted summer fling fit in? Whether you’re ready to take the next step with a developing romance from the school year, or you’re off to meet cuties at your summer getaway spot, three months is definitely enough time to rev up your love life (and get a killer tan).
First and foremost, I have one crucial word of advice: don’t go searching for a rom-com worthy relationship to fill your summer with. There’s a difference between being optimistic and open-minded when it comes to dating, and being desperate to find a partner to distract you from your school-less boredom.
If you find yourself yearning for the latter, recognize that friends, work, or a good book can easily cure your motives. Setting up expectations for yourself can lead to exactly the kind of pressure that summer break is there to release. Unwind, relax, and be ready for anything (or should I say anyone) that comes your way!
A good place to start is getting involved in things you enjoy doing – that way, if you happen to meet someone at one of these extracurriculars, they’re bound to have the same interests as you. If you love books, try volunteering at the library. Animal lover or dog enthusiast? Try an animal shelter or the SPCA!
Looking for more cash? Opt out of the average babysitting job and find a part-time job at a store that fits your style, or your favorite local restaurant. Even if the job ends up being totally lame (it happens), you’ll be able to bond with your coworkers over the experience. Working with someone is a great way to know them better – especially when it’s five days a week for three months – so it’s the perfect opportunity to get comfortable before dating in the fall (or sooner if you choose!).
And it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Heading down to the beach with your girlfriends is expected, but what happens when you get there? Instead of laying out all day on your towels to catch some rays, try approaching a group of dudes absorbed in their Frisbee game and ask if you and your girls can join, too. That way, your approach will come off casual, while still letting them know you’re up for a good time.
Balancing your busy bee life earning pay checks and joining your girls in endless spa days and bike rides can be tough, but there’s no doubt that you have a chance to find that special someone between all the craziness. Just focus on having the best time that you can possibly have. Reel in your bait with a killer smile and an enthusiastic attitude, and you’re bound to make waves that will last well through the start of the school year.