Opinion

Goals for the Summer

Summer GoalsWhat do ice cream, zip-lining, and summer vacation have in common? They all go by fast, so it’s best to enjoy them as much as possible before the new, Fall semester begins.

I would advise eating ice cream slowly, since it would freeze your brain faster than calculus homework on a Tuesday night.

Other than that, I can safely argue that it’s one of the best parts of the summer season. Driving down to Englishtown and buying my first waffle cone of the season is something I look forward to every year. My white Toyota Camry, one of Four Boys’ vanilla ice cream cones, and my “yet-to-be-tan” skin are a sight to be seen together on the contrasting color of the parking lot.

The time I discovered Four Boys Ice Cream was an interesting one. I was driving home from Freehold Mall on an evening hotter than a Twitter debate. I pulled my car into the Englishtown shop’s parking lot, found a spot, and walked up to the window with five dollars.

“Can I help you?” asked a young woman in a red uniform.

“Can I have a medium and a small vanilla cone?” I replied, trying to suppress the urge to bounce on my toes.

I realized something about this establishment when I received my cones: they used the same-sized cone for every order. Thankfully, there didn’t need to be any further conversation once I paid, because the towering swirl of an Arctic mountain she produced for me at the machine left me speechless. I’m looking forward to another chill summer at Four Boys with a cone that can barely fit through the take-out window.

I have been zip-lining before, but I never suspected I would do it on a cruise ship. When my twenty-first birthday arrived last March, my parents decided to book a trip on the Harmony of the Seas, one of the Royal Caribbean’s luxurious ships.

The last time I went on a ship owned by Royal Caribbean, I dabbled in its on-board pool, attended in-door camp sessions with other kids, and twirled my spoon inside a glass of chocolate milk with syrup drizzled against the inside of the glass.

How could I forget the chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream, though? Culinary interests aside, I intend to take as many whirls on the zip-line as possible -- as many students should consider doing overseas -- then swing by the ice cream machine.

A simpler thing I do during the summer is what I like to call “car karaoke”. While I don’t have the luxury of driving with celebrities, I either have the pleasure of my own presence or that of my old friends from Monroe Township as choir company.

Over the spring semester, I have developed a playlist of the cheesiest songs on the planet. “1985”, covered by Bowling for Soup, is one of those songs. I admit, the second track on Vengaboys: Greatest Hits! is on it too.

Permission to jam out to that song with me is a special privilege, as it is a token of my trust that the person who receives it will have the decency to make me look like a sane driver on Snapchat as I howl into the windshield.

Summer is my favorite season of the year, and I recommend trying out these activities on top of perfecting your tan at Monmouth Beach. Who wouldn’t want to trade a cup of coffee at a dormitory desk for an ice cream cone anywhere else?

PHOTO TAKEN by Caroline Mattise