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Ortiz: 21 reasons I’ve learned that summer isn’t paradise

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

When people talk about summer, the conversation is nothing short of relaxation, work and fun outdoor adventures. While that is a part of summer, I’ve learned a lot in my 21 years to show that isn’t all there is. 


  1. The pain of wearing shorts.

Shorts are a necessity during the summer, but unfortunately, the older I get, the more stares I get as well. These stares might have always been there, but I’ve noticed them more as I get older, whether that’s predatory looks from men or from other people sizing me and commenting on my cellulite.

2. Self-realization at the mall.

It’s embarrassing to see pre-teens and teenagers at malls because it makes me realize I was one of those annoying, loud and overdramatic creatures. 

3. Sunscreen and micro-aggressions.

Sunscreen costs a lot for a necessity to keep your skin protected from too much sun exposure and the risk of skin cancer. But, along with the topic of sunscreen comes the comments of using sunscreen and reminders to keep oneself out of the sun to avoid getting darker. Hence, highlighting the colorism in my community.

4. Avoiding men.

Dodging dates is a lot harder during the summer because I can’t use school as an excuse. I could just say no, but we’ve all seen the dangers of hurting a man’s ego.

5. Learning self-love.

I need to learn to love my belly rolls. They may not be what society sees as attractive, but they’re a part of me and deserve some love. 


6. The weirdness of coming home.

Coming back home and bumping into an old friend isn’t as cheery as I thought it would be. No one prepared me for the shock that comes when realizing that the people I used to be close to or thought would be in my life forever don’t fit into the picture anymore.

7. My family.

My family drives me crazy. I love them — I love them with all my heart, but I’m losing it day-by-day.

8. Independence Day arguments.

“Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus should be the new national anthem.

9. Self-realizations at home.

I’m turning into my mother. I watch novelas every night and eat pan de dulce while gossiping with my sisters.

10. Wearing bras in the summer sucks. Period.

11. Society’s micro-aggressions against women.

Women’s perfume does not last. I can pour half a bottle on me while my dad sprays himself once and he’ll smell great for three weeks straight and I’ll last maybe an hour.

What to do at Horsetooth Reservoir.

12. Long Island iced tea is a godsend. 

13. My family thinks I’m crazy.

I spend my summers watching too many shows dealing with witches and demons. I’m pretty sure my family thinks I’m practicing witchcraft or am a satanist — not complaining though. 

14. Outdated traditions.

I hate going to church. It’s hot, and getting dressed to be surrounded by a bunch of hypocrites is useless. Why spend my time around people who preach about community, yet are the first ones to sneer at others leaving mass? Or why spend time conversing with people who use religion as an excuse to justify their homophobia and sexism? It doesn’t sound appealing; I’ll talk to Jesus from my living room, thanks.

15. My rocky relationship with staying hydrated.

I’m always thirsty, but the more water I drink, the more I have to get up and pee, so I’m not really sure this is all worth it.

16. Mosquitoes are an unnecessary evil.

Mosquito bites are a pain in the ass and unnecessary. Why am I being punished for stepping outside?

17. Watermelon should be free all summer.

18. Idiot dog owners.

People who leave their dogs in their cars, take their dogs on walks when the sidewalk is too hot or leave their dogs outside with no water or shade have no souls and deserve jail time.

19. Summer FOMO.

I am to blame for a boring summer when I am the one spending more time indoors thinking of the great adventures I could go on than actually doing them.

20. Reckless behavior.

Drunk driving isn’t cool and neither is bragging about it on social media. You’re not Vin Diesel or Paul Walker; take a seat.

21. Summer jobs.

Summer break requires spending money. And I have to work to get money. And I’m tired.

Kenia Ortiz can be reached at or online at @Kenia_Ortiz_.

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