Every mid-August, a feeling of dread creeps up on me. I remember that summer is almost over and the days coming will probably be shorter, colder, and sadder. The temperatures drop. So do the leaves. And soon enough, seasonal depression will begin to manifest, demanding I spend most of my hours — waking or sleeping — under the cover of my weighted blankets.
But I won’t be hasty. It’s not over until it’s over. The autumnal equinox, aka the September equinox, isn’t until Saturday, September 23, 2023, giving us a month of summer to enjoy for as long as we can.
As we stretch out the last of the season, I will be basking in the sun and soaking up as much Vitamin D as I can. I will also be harkening back to my middle school summers, where I unfailingly made Summer Bucketlists and tacked them to my wall. Vague activities like “go on an adventure” guided my summer, but the thing is … I actually did a lot of what I dreamed of doing.
Item by item, I made those summers memorable. Purely with the power of writing down what I wanted to do. Call it manifestation, call it my stubborn dedication to list-making (I’m a Capricorn cusp), either way, it worked.
And I need all the inspiration I can get in these dog days of summer. So here I am, creating a bucket list for my last month of summer, and imploring you to join me.
Here’s what I’m doing to make the summer last.
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Have a beach or pool day
The last beach days of summer are usually my favorite days. You enjoy them more. You savor every moment — even the sand between your toes and the salt in your hair. Plus, the water has been warming up all summer, so it’s the warmest it’s going to get.Whether you’re a beach or pool Barbie, enjoy your last chance to abscond from your responsibilities for a day and lay out by a body of water. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
See a movie on the big screen
When I think of the oft-forgotten Timothee Chalamet movie Hot Summer Nights, I think of the scene at the drive-in movie theatre. Oh, what I would do to spark a summer romance over the snack counter at a suburban drive-in movie. Living in LA, I will settle for a movie night at a cemetery (Hollywood Forever’s legendary movie nights are cool, but a little creepy) or a Downtown rooftop.
But I’m also trying to get as many classic movie nights in as possible. Now that I’ve seen Barbenheimer, I’m making my way to every other movie of the summer while they’re still playing in theatres. My pick: Bottoms!
Picnic in the park
One of my favorite low-budget hangouts with friends is a picnic. I love to stake out a section by the LA reservoir and have a potluck picnic full of snacks and sparkling sodas. Just beware — it’s allergy season. Yet, picnics are the closest to an outdoor adventure I get.
Have a charcuterie night
For an indoor alternative to picnics, my friends have been taking turns hosting charcuterie and champagne nights. We make a playlist, buy an assortment of cheeses, and make a weekday night an event with our favorite silly little drinks and some good company.
Treat yourself to a self-care day
After traveling and running around all summer, I find that the best way to ease into fall is to have a self-care day. It can be anything from a face mask and DIY pedicure to a full on-spa day with a facial and sauna. Anything to make you feel ready to tackle the colder months with more optimism and pep in your step.
Refresh your wardrobe
My favorite way to get excited for a new season is to get excited about what I am going to wear. Whether that means shopping for a few new key pieces (I’m on the hunt for a new pair of vintage Levis) or shopping your closet to come up with new combinations, end your summer by elevating your mid fit. I’m personally hoping that my new pair of ballet flats will make me seem at home in Dimes Square next time I’m back in NYC.
Move around your furniture
Though I love a good vacation, I live by the old adage: where you go is where you are. So instead of flying somewhere new to fix my fall ennui, I might just try to fuck around with the fung shei of my apartment. With my furniture in new spots and a new storage shelf to decorate with kitschy decor items, I am planning on elevating my apartment with a few key home decor must-haves. Plus, some fresh flowers weekly of course.
Plan your next vacation
No better time to start planning your next vacation than the end of summer. Whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort for a winter getaway or a city escape — my pick is Paris, a la Emily in Paris or Heartstopper — the best time to take advantage of deals and travel hacking rewards is now. Wherever you go, make sure you dress the part!