DHS Juniors’ Feelings Toward Summer: Solemn about Lack of Structure?


Thursday Mills

Is the lack of structure and direction in the summer less enjoyable than it used to be?

In pop culture, the last day of school experienced during ages 5-18 is renowned as one of the most exciting times of the year for students. From celebrations in movies like Dazed and Confused to Mac Miller proclaiming his excitement about graduating from high school on “The Spins,” media constantly highlights and perpetuates the feelings of elation and freedom that come with getting out of school for the summer, most strongly felt by high school students. However, after talking to some DHS juniors, that sentiment is not expressed in relation to this upcoming summer.

Whether it be apprehension towards senior year, or fear of missing out on big summer plans, many juniors are not empathizing with the stereotypical positivity experienced in these last few weeks. One student, Ana Oliveira, said, “I feel really busy, and all my friends are so busy, everyone’s schedule is so different. With school it’s easier to make plans.” 

The inherent structure provided by a concrete school schedule feels binding during the school year, but in its absence is a much more unpredictable feeling of the unknown. You don’t know what your friends are up to every day by catching up during first period or how their weekend was because you’re guaranteed to see them on Monday. To see your friends you have to reach out, operate around work schedules and vacations. There’s no guarantee you’ll see people on a reliable basis, and summer can be a lonely time for some.

Additionally, some students have testified to the pressure that the summer going into senior year, specifically, places on students. Another junior, Nadia Garriga, said, “I’m worried about the FOMO aspect of it, and there’s such a big expectation towards the summer and making the most of it while you can.” FOMO being an acronym that stands for “Fear of Missing Out.” 

A popular attitude is seeping through the ranks of 17-year-olds in the school that there is an overwhelming compulsion to be able to have the most memorable and picturesque summer as possible, which unintentionally creates a high expectation that is difficult to meet. It is easy to feel as though you’re not doing as much as you should be, or as much as your friends are doing.

Consequently, a melancholic pallor has gilded the complexion of the incoming senior class. An impending and ominous force known as “the future” haunts our waking hours, and permeates many of our sleeping ones as well. We know that this summer is our last summer of preparation. Preparation before we exit our home of the last three years for the final time, and move forward into this “future.” It’s the unpredictable that imbues in us this sinking sensation. 

But we’ll be back in the fall.