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this is going to be the best summer of our lives
it's the summer before we all go off to college
a few weeks ago i had my first, sacred rockaways day trip of the 2022 season. mary, brian, demo and i all piled into zia’s car on the morning of memorial day and made our way down to beach 73rd street, parking by the ymca. it was a perfect day, complete with burgers, fries and hot dogs from rippers and nutcrackers from my nutcracker guy who is accessible only via instagram dm (and even then it’s a little touch-and-go). when we were all thoroughly sunburned and ready to leave, we piled back into zia’s car for the drive back up flatbush avenue and nostrand avenue to central brooklyn. mary and brian had run into stop & shop to use the bathroom and zia, demo and i sat in the car with the air conditioning blasting when demo suddenly said: “this is going to be the best summer of our lives. it’s the summer before we all go off to college.”
i found this very funny (and continue to find it very funny) and we repeated it over and over on our drive home: are you going to the rager at matt’s house tonight? i’m bringing beer, it’s the summer before we all go off to college, it’s going to be the best summer of our lives. i just got a fake id, this is going to be the best summer of our lives. i’m going to miss you guys in august when we all say goodbye forever when we all go to college. target is sold out of twin xl jersey cotton sheet sets, i need them for my dorm when we go off to college.
i have since continued to live my life with the zeal of it being the best summer of our lives (the summer before we all go off to college). i have used this to justify decisions ranging from “treating myself to a solo dinner at the bar at hart’s” to “buying a new reformation dress i don’t technically need.”
the actual summer before we all (read: i) went to college was in 2010, when everyone was reeling from the last recession and i was a blissfully ignorant 17 year old entering journalism school where i would be told over and over again about how the class of 2010 was graduating into a horrific job market. i had all the boundlessly stupid optimism you would expect a 17 year old version of me who had not yet been beaten down by years of working in digital media to have so i was just excited to be in a new place with new people who cared as much about the things i liked as i did (this is not really what happened, as most of my classmates wanted to work for vogue and i brought copies of jacobin and bitch to my first mag 205 class because they were two of my favorite print publications at the time. the duality of magazine majors). i mostly spent that summer, the summer before we all went to college, learning how to binge drink vodka in my friend ben’s basement, a skill that would prove immensely useful when i emerged on syracuse’s campus.
as we stare down the gaping maw of the economy in 2022, i can’t shake the feeling that this might actually be the best summer of our lives before things become somehow radically, materially worse, at least for a little while. even if i’m wrong about this and all these layoffs in tech have been for naught and the fed rate hikes don’t ever have a cascading negative effect and everyone is actually fine and will continue to be fine, i can’t help but feel like the vibes are off, and i keep using this nagging, fatalist, “the sky is falling” feeling to justify my actions as the best summer of our lives goes into full effect. we’ll go out with a bang. picking up a bottle of wine at the nice wine store on fulton street? opting for the shrimp cocktail when i could probably do without it? staying out a little later than i planned? buying an impulse ticket to a concert at forest hills stadium? booking a slightly more expensive bar for my 30th birthday than i would realistically like to? you bet. this is going to be the best summer of our lives!