When I was a little girl, I remember feeling so excited for summer vacation. Summers meant swimming, going on day trips with my family, and family barbecues. I could spend my days doing all the things I enjoyed — reading, writing, drawing, and sleeping in. Summer vacations meant relaxing and spending time with family before the upcoming school year.

Now, I no longer feel the same enjoyment about summer vacations. Summers now mean searching for internships and work, which then means attending stressful interviews. I don’t have time to enjoy my hobbies like I used to. Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.

As we get older, we have to stay productive and make money. But at the same time, college is already stressful and mentally draining. We should be able to take a real break over the summer. We shouldn’t be pressured to work full-time, take summer courses, or do internships unless we really want to. 

I personally feel like it’s better for college students to use summer break as an actual break — that way, we don’t feel exhausted when the next semester starts. If we drain ourselves out during the summer, we might not be able to do as well during the fall semester. The same goes for winter break. We should use the time to relax and reset, so we’re ready to crush the spring semester.

I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing to remain productive over the summer. There are pros and cons to both being productive and just relaxing. If you’re working over the summer, you’re able to put in more hours without classes restricting your schedule, and you make more money. If you do an internship, you’re improving your résumé and increasing your chance of getting a job in your field after graduation. 

But feeling that you have to work for the sake of staying productive can exhaust you. Unfortunately, our society is all about work, work, work. We always have to be doing something, and if we’re not doing something, we’re deemed as “lazy”. But taking a break is not being lazy at all; it is much needed from all the college and work stress.

College students pile a lot into their schedule during the semester: classes, work, clubs, office hours. It can be very overwhelming. So what’s wrong with taking a break? 

I hope that one day, the summer vacations we grew up with carry on to college. I hope that future generations don’t wear themselves out during the summer because society says they should. But until that happens, summer “vacation” is just a myth.

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