Labor Day's over, September has arrived in earnest, and summer is dying another death. Even though it's still calendar summer, the leaves are beginning to change and the temperatures are rapidly dropping. Y'all, it's official: summer vacation is over. It has passed on, may it rest in peace. You may be feeling some strange emotions. Maybe you're blue, maybe you feel like you're in mourning, but you aren't quite sure why. I hate to tell this, but you might be grieving for summer. If you're not sure, then you need to read through the six stages of grief – as they apply to vacation.
1. Stage One: Denial
At first, when you head back to work or start the new semester at school, you're excited. Workers, you're thinking about the new projects you might be able to do! And there's a new employee, maybe you'll be friends! Students, a summer of fun has lulled you into thinking that, this year, learning might be fun. You've got new clothes, new notebooks, an awesome new pen, you are so ready! Being responsible every day is just as fun as vacation! This is denial, and it does not last long. You will crash and crash hard.
2. Stage Two: Anger
When you crash, you get very mad. Your inbox is overfilled with work. You don't like your teachers nearly as much as you thought you would. That girl you hate is wearing the same pair of shoes! Your boss loves your proposal but changes everything about it. You already have a ton of homework! Responsibility is stupid! You text everyone you know messages containing sentiments like, “FML,” “Hate everything,” and “Wtf,” all day long.
3. Stage Three: Bargaining
But that's okay. You can totally fix this mess, it's fine. You're going to make every deadline, outshine every colleague, and it will be awesome. You're going to get all your homework done on time, study your butt off, and ace every test. None of this is so bad. You'll learn something new, it'll be fine. As long as you can go out for Starbucks every day and be done with everything by 5 o'clock, it's fine. It's great. Honestly. You'll do anything just to get through this.
4. Stage Four: Depression
It's not fine. It is not great. You cannot get through this. Alarm clocks are the worst inventions ever and the snooze button should be outlawed because you just completely overslept. Maybe you can sneak into class before anyone notices; maybe you can pretend like you just forgot to clock in. It's raining but it doesn't matter; you're whole life is like a dark, gloomy rainfall. Everything sucks. Your Starbucks is all foam. Life has no meaning.
5. Stage Five: Acceptance
Well, but at least there's the weekend to look forward to. And Thanksgiving will be here pretty soon, and Christmas right after that. Maybe you can take a winter vacation this year, and go somewhere warm. It'll be awesome! It's fine! You can do this!
6. Stage Six: Secret Bitterness
But it still really sucks because you can't afford to take a vacation in the winter and everyone who can sucks. It's fine, though, you'll smile like you're perfectly content with just the time off, but in between secretly plotting a stellar summer vacation for next year, you'll just plot vengeance on the girl who wore your shoes and keeps bragging about how she's going to Cancun in December. Cow.
Are you experiencing the six stages of summer grief? Has the death of your vacation sent your emotions through the blender? Talking about it helps. You are not alone with this angst! Share your stories with others, so that they, too, might cope with this tragic loss. Remember, time heals all wounds – and next summer will be here before you know it!
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