Cue Europe’s The Final Countdown. In a few weeks, summer will come to a screeching halt. Shorter days, a drop in mercury, and being bombarded with a string of holidays that will require 1) the emptying of pockets and 2) spending too much quality time with the extended family is really all you have to look forward to. Oh, and let’s not forget school for the luckiest among us. (Rushing! Textbooks! Incoming freshmen!) If you feel like your summer flew by and you didn’t have the slightest bit of fun, don’t fret. Instead of grieving in despair for summer’s death, make the most of this last month with our to-do list.
Photo credit: NeilsPhotography, Flickr
7 Do Something Baseball-Related
And we mean something outside with baseball. Watching a game — or worse, playing a baseball-themed video game — on an HD TV in your musty-smelling living room does not count. The most obvious choices would be going to a baseball game or playing baseball, preferably while staying hydrated with watery beers. And be sure to stuff your face with deliciously processed stadium food. If you don’t like baseball—screw you! It’s America’s summer staple sport.
6 Swim — in Anything
Remember when you used to spend all summer at the pool? Sure, our babysitters probably just took us there so they could lay out and read magazines while we left them alone, but we miss those days. Unless you are deathly afraid of water and fun, we guarantee you will be one sad, repressed soul if you don’t swim at all this summer. Plan a beach or pool visit, or just fill up a kiddie pool and have a beer. Kick around—there, that counts as swimming. Check.
5 Go to a Festival
We don’t know what the hell you’ve been up to all summer if you haven’t attended a festival. No matter where you are, these past few months have been ripe with music, cultural, or food festivals. But it’s okay (we guess) if you’ve made a bunch of lame excuses and haven’t been able to attend any. Use this last month to really figure out what’s going on in your city or surrounding ones. Pack a backpack with a blanket and a well-hidden flask, and you’re good to go—even if it’s just a Dutch-themed flower festival nearby.
4 See a Summer Blockbuster
Yes, going to the movies is, for whatever reason, insanely expensive now. Suck it up. Odds are, everyone’s already talking about that amazing movie you didn’t see and are planning on watching when it comes out on Netflix. But there’s something about the movie experience that doesn’t compare to your lonely, boxer-wearing soul sitting on a sofa watching a flick on your overheated laptop. Splurge on at least one movie ticket (or two, plus popcorn and soda if you’re on a date. Points will be scored). Just don’t see anything that rhymes with “the Fast Bear Lender.” You will have wasted your money.
3 Take a Mini-Vacation
Whatever town you’re in at this very minute: get out. And get out of there for at least two nights. Go and stay with that friend you’ve been planning on visiting for too long (just make sure the invite still stands), or check out discount travel sites for hotel deals. A road trip may seem like a thriftier choice than flying, but sometimes it can be a money burner, so do your research. You can sometimes get great day- or week-of tickets airlines. Also, subscribe to these sites’ newsletters—they’ll give you a heads up when there are cheap trips to cities you’ve wanted to check out. More bus routes are also becoming available across the country, and some tickets are just $25 round trip. If the idea of scrambling around to have a last-minute getaway stresses you out, at least start planning a trip for September—maybe it’ll make the summer go by slower, and you’ll have something to look forward to.
2 Have a Quickie Fling
If your summer lovin’s been a-lacking, now’s your final chance—have that a pseudo-summer fling with a special someone. Hell, choose anyone at this point. (Beggars can’t be choosers.) Preferably go with someone who will be attending college in the fall. Maintaining that sort of romance is always doomed from the start, which will be great for your allocated timetable. Go on at least two amazing dates, including one that involves getting snow cones, before having the, “let’s just keep having fun and not get too serious,” talk.
1 See the Sun, Already
Not all of us have had the glowing opportunity to hit the beach every day or tag along when our private school roommate’s parents pay for all their friends to vacay in Cabo. (Assholes). Some of us have been slaving away in cubicles all summer, making the sun—and consequently, any form of tan—a total myth. To avoid sticking out like a pasty-white Trekkie on the cast of Jersey Shore, spend this month making it a priority to soak in some rays. Grab that happy hour brew on places with patios instead of in dimly-lit watering holes. Be that guy who passes out with his dog shirtless on the grass after playing Frisbee golf. If you get desperate, jump in a tanning booth — but your ass will most likely get burnt if you’re pale — or have your girlfriend help you apply fake tanner (there was a how-to help your man do so in the latest Cosmo. For real).