Dear Summer, I Miss You.

I consider the time between Jan. 2, as we come down from the holiday high, and the end of March, just before spring weather really starts to kick in, as the “deep, dark depths of winter.” Objectively, this is the most difficult time of the year; it’s cold, the sun sets at 4 p.m., and motivation is at an all-time low. This is why I also objectively consider summer the best season of the entire year. So, dear summer, here is my love letter to you.

I find that most people thrive in summer, me first and foremost. Life just feels so much easier, less pressurized, and overall more peaceful. Although I’m still in college, and summer is considered my “break,” the absence of school is not the only reason I feel worry free. In fact, this past summer, I had two part time jobs (in the service industry, by the way) and was on the hunt for a fall internship (as my mom likes to say, “looking for a job is a full-time job”). These activities arguably took up more of my time than my regular class schedule.

So, if it’s not the absence of classes, what makes life so much easier in the summer? To start, the sun doesn’t set before dinner. When the days are longer, I am so much more productive. In the winter, as I walk in the pitch black of night to my car after my last class (which ends at 5:50 pm), I have no will to do anything else for the rest of the night. Let’s say my typical bedtime is 10 p.m., so in the winter my “wind down” period commences right after dusk. That’s about four to five hours I don’t utilize for doing tasks I actually need to complete. The alternative, to push through my internal clock that’s screaming at me to go to sleep, just leads to more exhaustion and stress.

Speaking of stress, winter brings a lot more than summer. Take the inevitable time crunch into account – I literally have less hours in my day to get done what I need to get done. Additionally, the cold weather wreaks havoc on my stress levels. I hate getting out of my warm, cozy bed in the winter, but sleeping in is definitely not an option; as we said, daylight is of the essence.

Summer also gives me a better outlet to unwind after a day of chaos and work. Late in the afternoon, I love to sit on my back patio and read a book. In the evening, going for a night swim or enjoying a hard seltzer by the firepit are also amazing options that are sadly not possible during the winter. Rather than going outside and enjoying nature (or the sunlight), in the winter my version of destressing consists of scrolling on my phone, which ultimately results in a headache.

Now, come to think of it, maybe this isn’t my love letter to summer, but rather my breakup letter to winter.