Illustration by Paige Gaskins
Last summer was the first time I had the money and independence necessary to experience a fun summer. The only problem is a little thing called the COVID-19 pandemic, which had different plans for my summer. This summer is a second chance, and I want to take advantage of the plans that got postponed last year.
1. Visit Headlands Beach
Every year I go to Headlands Beach State Park on Lake Erie. I got to go last summer, too, but it is a place I will never get sick of seeing. The sunsets are beautiful, and the beach has glass that has been smoothed from the waves, so it looks like colorful rocks.
2. Go to a drive-in movie
My family always talks about seeing a drive-in movie, but the summer always seems to get away from us. If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it is to not take time for granted. This is definitely something I will be checking off my list this summer.
3. Visit the Corn Statues in Dublin, Ohio
If Ohio is known for anything, it is our endless fields of corn. The one I want to see is a little different. An artist made a field of 109 cement corn cobs. It is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of, which only makes me want to see it even more.
4. Attempt reverse tie-dye
As a tie-dye novice, I feel like reverse tie-dye is something TikTok makes look way easier than it actually is, but I want to find out for myself. This technique involves taking a black shirt and bleaching a pattern on it before tie-dying it like normal. The bleach spots are the only places that will show color. It gives this classic activity a little twist.
5. Read at least one book a month
A goal of mine for the year of 2021 is to read 15 books. I’m on track to do that, but with less structure to my days during the summer, I always like to add this onto my list. Summer reading for me always includes cheesy romances that normally take place in Nantucket or South Carolina. Author Elin Hilderbrand is called the queen of summer novels for a reason. Her books are always easy reads with interesting plot lines and characters.
6. Even out last year’s tan lines
Last summer I was so eager to get my tan started that I decided it would be a brilliant idea not to wear sunscreen while I sat by the pool for four hours. This resulted in my first, and last, full body sunburn. I’m still paying the consequences with visible tan lines on my back. This time around, however, SPF 100 and I are going to be best friends.
7. Watch 10 movies
It is embarrassing how many classic movies I have yet to see, so I’m hoping this goal will help relieve me of that burden. This goal is also an excuse to justify the amount of Netflix I will undoubtedly consume over the next three months.
8. Pull an all-nighter
This is an ode to my high school days. I seriously can’t remember the last time I managed to stay awake past 3 a.m. at the latest. There’s something about watching night fade right back into day that never gets old.
9. Hike around Worden’s Ledges
As part of Cleveland’s Metroparks, this trail includes carvings of faces in stone made in the 1940s. I believe it could be one of Ohio’s hidden gems. That hike combined with the corn statues will teach me all I need to know about Ohio’s history.
10. Go to Florida for vacation
This bucket list item is something I am sure to get to do this summer, and I feel endlessly thankful for it. My family has visited Florida a few times, yet I never get tired of sitting on its beaches. Hopefully, this will go hand in hand with evening out my tan lines as long as I am a loyal re-applier of that SPF 100.