Best Ages for Summer, A Power Ranking Investigative Study
This article is part of our Summer Friday series. Every Friday we’ll be dropping a new summer related article to get you through to happy hour. Check out all Summer Friday content here and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to guest write.
Summer has arrived and I couldn’t be more excited. Like most people in their late 20s, I have a great summer lined up of weekend trips, international travel, and wedding-related events. However, like any good blogger, it’s impossible for me to enjoy things without trying to power rank them and I started to think…how does this summer stack up to summers I’ve experienced or will experience in the future (provided the planet doesn’t burn in the next 10 years)
Best Ages for Summer Break, A Power Ranking Investigative Study
8. Married With Children
The opposite of a break. From June through September, you get to experience every parent’s nightmare – spending more time with your children.
Of course, you love your kids, but it’s only in small to medium doses. Now that they’re out of school and the government-mandated structure that comes with it, you have to figure out an entirely new plan from 8 am – 4 pm every day. Sure, you can spend a shitload of money to send them to sleepaway camp so they can try to make out with other pre-teens in the woods for a few weeks. But that’s barely half the summer. How in god’s name are you supposed to take care of this person while maintaining a job and god forbid a social life?
That’s not even taking into account the prospect of a family vacation. I’ve seen Johnson Family Vacation enough times to know that those can be a real hassle with a wide variety of hijinks, misfires and snafus. You know what makes a beach trip super not fun? Spending 3 hours convincing a 6 year old to put sunscreen on and making sure they don’t drown in the hotel pool. You’ll spend the entire summer waiting for school and your sanity to start again and no one can blame you.
7. Summer After Your Senior Year of College
Your first existential crisis. Sure, the first couple of weeks after graduating are fun and you’re still in college mode, but after you head home to your parent’s house and catch your breath for a sec, you fully come to the realization that you are staring down the barrel of the rest of your life and the unavoidable work, retire, die (trademarked so don’t even bother stealing) life path you’re now heading down.
If you have a job, you’re panicking about starting your life and finding a new apartment and all that. If you don’t have a job, you’re panicking even harder and after 2 months with Mom and Dad at home, really starting to lose your mind. No matter what, you’re absolutely crushed when Labor Day rolls around and orientation week kicks off at your old school and you realize that life has continued without you.
6. Late 20s
Finally, you have the money to enjoy your summer and the status at work to take some well-deserved time off. And how are you spending it? By going to other people’s weddings.
Don’t get me wrong, I love love and weddings are fun, but they can be exhausting. Spending every weekend and dollar you have this summer traveling to bachelor parties, weddings, suit fittings, and all that jazz is overwhelming. Sure, I’m literally engaged to be wed and am the asshole doing a destination wedding but shut up. It’s my blog.
Weddings can go basically two ways. If you’re in a serious relationship, they’re fun and you have at least one person there to sit with and hang out with. However, a part of you is spending the entire wedding thinking about your own relationship and how this wedding will compare to yours. Not exactly an enjoyable experience.
If you’re single, weddings can either be depressing or relieving. Sure, you’re happy for your friends or family, but looking around at a room full of other people in relationships is a little isolating and lonely. If you’re looking at a room full of people in terribly unhappy relationships, you can at least comfort yourself by saying you’d rather be alone than be like that. It’s probably not 100% true but whatever.
5. College Summer
This is the summer to cosplay as an adult.
From 9-5, you’re dipping your toes into reality at your summer internship, where you’re either stunned by the monotony of daily life, convinced you are contributing significantly, or wondering if it’s worth telling your boss you can handle more work or just letting the summer ride out while collecting a paycheck. From 5 – 9, you’re back at your childhood home, having your meals and laundry taken care of and access to cable television. If you’re lucky enough to have one of the elite junior year summer internships, you’re potentially making good money and maybe even living in an apartment on your own in a new city for the first time.
The point is, this is the perfect time to learn extremely basic survival skills both in the office and real life and a safe space to fail without true repercussions. It’s fun and all, but after about 6 weeks, you’re itching to get back to college ASAP, hopefully with a comma in your checking account for the first time ever.
4. Early 20s
This can be dependent on how much money you make, but either way, you have the tailwinds of Summer Fridays, youthful energy and complete and total lack of real-world responsibilities at your back and there’s nothing that can hold you back.
If you can afford extravagant things like summer sharehouses in Montauk or the Jersey Shore, weekend trips to cool places where you’ll split an Air-BnB 16 ways, or happy hour 5 nights a week, you’re living the life. If you’re still making shit money, your life is a little worse but still better than any time of the year. You’re young enough that you’re fine hanging out on someone’s fire escape and thinking it’s cool. The concept of a rooftop is still interesting to you. Maybe you find a friend with rich parents and a summer house and bum off them for a few weekend.
Either way, you’ll end this summer broke, exhausted, and wondering if your summer fling will make it to cuffing season, but at least you drank from the firehose of life and lived to tell the tale.
3. Under 14
You’re at the age where school totally sucks and summer is the dream you’ve held in your mind since early March. You lowkey hate snow days because it just means you have to stay in school longer come June. When that school finally hits on the last day of school, you lose your goddam mind and run out of the building screaming like a banshee.
Being a kid rules. But you most likely can’t fully enjoy summer because your parents have either sent you to some bullshit camp, force you to go on trips you don’t appreciate or lock you in the house while they go to work. Without freedom, you don’t fully get to enjoy summer and you don’t realize it until you’re older.
2. 30+ with No Kids (Or Adult Children)
The perfect combination of money to go on good vacations and relative freedom to enjoy those vacations. Plus, you’re likely far enough along in your career that you can just straight up not work for 50% of the summer and force your employees to carry the load for you. And if you’re doing super well, you have a second house you can spend the summer at, playing golf, drinking aperol spritz and counting your money while smoking a cigar.
It’s hard to think of a downside here, but if I have to pick one, it’d be the fact that summer has lost a bit of its luster after you’ve had 40 of them. Plus, if you’re super old, the heat can give you a heat stroke and you’ll maybe die or something. That wouldn’t be great.
1. 14 – 18 Years Old
The birthplace of freedom and feeling like you’re not a kid anymore. You have your license or can at least go walk or bike to your friend’s house when you want. If you’re not spoiled, your parents have made you get a summer job and honestly, while it sucks to have to scoop ice cream or mow lawns all day, it’s kind of nice to have your own money for the first time in your life. You’re deep in the throes of puberty and ready to come back to school in the fall a full 5 inches taller, covered in pimples, and acting like nothing happened.
This is the summer for firsts – first job, first kiss, first drink of alcohol, first puke from drinking alcohol, etc – and everything just feels more important and magical. One day, you’ll have to worry about taxes, herpes, and watering your plants you don’t even want, but not today. Not today.