Expectations vs. Reality: Summer

Expectations vs. Reality: Summer

Everything is not always what it seems

Summer has officially started for me. I just came back from a family vacation to Maine. As you may remember from one of my past posts, Maine is my favorite place in the entire world. We stay near the coast where absolutely everything is picture perfect. Maine is the Wonderland to my Alice. As happy as I was to go to Maine, there we a few bumps in the road along the way. There always is. Nothing can ever go exactly as planned, of course.

While on the trip, I realized that this is potentially my last summer break EVER. I’m going to be a senior next semester, and I will (hopefully) have a full time job to time next year. I want to make the most of this summer and have the best summer break ever. As I know from my most recent trip, nothing can ever go exactly as planned. We have a number of expectations for how the summer will go… but reality sometimes has other plans for us.

I decided to take a different route this week and stray from my typical advice and how-to type of posts. Here are a few common summer expectations and their realities – from my experiences, at least.


Moving back home from school


Mom and Dad are absolutely ecstatic you’re home. They’ve cleaned your room and made your favorite meal. You guys get along great now.


Nothing has really changed at all. Your room is in the exact same chaotic state you left it in at the beginning of last semester. Yeah, your parents are happy you’re home, but they’re not waiting on you – hands and knees. They did miss you. At first, you appreciate being home and seeing them. You’ll admit you missed them too. A few days later Mom hounds you for staying out late or not doing your laundry, and all the sudden the you wish you were back at school with all your friends.

Vacations with Family


To have a nice relaxing time, sitting on a sunny beach and drinking a cool cocktail. You don’t have one care in the world. Everyone in your family is getting along for the first time in a long time.


Vacation is stressful! Especially long car rides with the family! No one is ready to leave at the time you’re supposed to. The car ride is long and hot. Your family argues about when to stop and where to eat on the road. When you get to your destination things get a little better. Your family is starting to get along outside of the confined spaces of the small car. The first night is great, until you spend 24 hours all together in a small a hotel room with only one bathroom.
Yeah, vacationing with family can be stressful at times. Maybe there will even be a few arguments. But, just think of all the new memories you now have with your family. Sure, it was a little stressful here and there, but it was definitely worth it. You were able to get a few moments of relaxation in – a cocktail properly in your hand.

Summer Jobs


You’re so happy to have your new job at the local ice cream shop or town pool. You can’t wait to get free ice cream whenever you want or just sit around and tan all day. It’ll be a complete piece of cake.


You’re job is tougher than you thought it would be! You didn’t expect that this many customers would be so demanding or that you’d have to keep yelling at a group of 12 year olds for splashing the old lady trying to swim some laps. Plus, you keep end up getting scheduled for days when all of your friends are hanging out. You’re having major FOMO at this point. It’s all work and no play.

Trips with Friends


You and your friends are adults. You can go on vacation to some tropical island or go road tripping to another part of the country if you want to. You’re going to have the BEST time together because – well, why wouldn’t you? This trip is definitely going to bring you and your friends so much closer.


Is it better or worse going on vacation with your friends than going on vacation with your family? You’re honesty not sure what’s more stressful. Once you book the trip you run into problems. One of your friends doesn’t want to spend that much money. You all can’t decide on restaurants or places you all want to go to. The planning is practically killing you at this point. Yeah, your friends can be a little bad with planning sometimes, but once you’re actually on vacation you guys end up having a great time. All that planning-stress wasn’t worth the worry in the end.

Summer flings


You go on vacation and meet this amazing person. You have a crazy, thrilling time with him or her for a couple days or even a few weeks. You create so many cool memories to look back on. When it comes time to say goodbye, it’s a completely clean break. There’s not feelings or strings attached. It’s almost like a Taylor Swift song (a.k.a. “Wildest Dreams”).


It could go one of two ways: there’s slim pickings this summer and the most kisses you get are from your dog. Or, you do meet a wonderful person, have an amazing time together, and then realize you won’t be able to say goodbye when the time comes. It’s not as much of a clean break as you thought it would be. You’ll admit it, you do have feelings for this person. He or she will probably be on your mind for a while after you say goodbye. Eventually, you’ll move on and that person will live on in your mind as your Summer Fling of 2017.


Summer Parties


You’re so glad to be home and can’t wait for all of your friends from high school to get together and have some awesome summer parties. Every weekend is definitely going to be filled with bonfires or Gatsby-worthy ragers. It’s going to be a blast.


Most of your friends from home actually aren’t home for a good portion of the summer. They either have summer jobs near their colleges or fancy internships in the city. And, none of your friends never seem to be available at the same time. Your summer parties and group bonfires have become quick coffee dates in between work breaks and the occasional wine and cooking nights. You’re happy for the time you get to spend with each of your friends, but it’s just not what you expected.


Long story short: nothing ever goes as planned. You can plan for have the BEST summer ever, but you have to leave a elbow room in your plans. Create lose plans this summer. Make a bucket list of things you want to do, and even set dates to do them. Just don’t plan out your entire summer minute by minute. It’s way too stressful! Create and outline for what you want to do. This will give you options later on to change things last minute and will help you have a better time in the end.

Happy Summer, my Dolls!


Is making a lifestyle change on your summer to-do list? Read how I transitioned into vegetarianism in “Real Talk: My Vegetarianism.”

To get a more in-depth look at the world of The Porcelain Doll, be sure to follow me on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest. Also check out my YouTube channel and my poetry blog.


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