Have Fun, Have Life | Peter Saltamachio

Have Fun, Have Life

Peter Saltamachio

Too much time these days is spent doing things we won’t remember. On average, according to Mobile Statistics, the heaviest phone-using group spends 23 days of their year glued to their phone screen. You don’t have to think for a long time to figure out the demographic of that age group. It’s teenagers. Obviously.

 

The worst part about this statistic is, it’s specific to phone time. It doesn’t account for television time or computer time. It doesn’t account for actions we must take in order to earn money or prepare for our later lives. Work, school, sleep...we don’t have any time to exercise our freedoms anymore. We don’t do constructive things with our time anymore. Think about it. When was the last time you actually just left your house for a bike ride? Or a sport played just for fun with people in your neighborhood? You might say school sports count, but even that is more like a job as, after a few months, practicing or having a game every day gets tiring. You want a break. With summer on the horizon, these activities will become more feasible, but you will also have more time to use your phone, watch Netflix, or look at the latest fashions online. That’s not what summer is for.

 

Summer is for vacations. Summer is for memories. Summer is for forgetting about rules, forgetting about deadlines, forgetting about AP tests or college apps, for remembering how to dream, how to have fun, how to live in the moment. Summer is the time of the year allotted to us to enjoy to the fullest. During the school year, we cannot spend long hours counting stars, or fishing with friends and family, or go to great lengths to catch the perfect wave.

 

We forget that our summer is a privilege. Schools elsewhere in the world have much shorter intersessions. In Japan, the mid-term intersession lasts for only four weeks, and students are assigned homework throughout the time so that they don’t lose track of their education. Japanese students also don’t really have the option of a “gap year” between high school graduation and college. We do. Our education system has been criticized by many in its supposedly lax approach to rigor and difficulty. It may be reformed sooner rather than later.

 

So put yourself out there. You only live once (Not going to abbreviate that, it’s too suggestive of a millennial screen junky’s attitude), and you only get one childhood. That freedom will not last for much longer, so USE it. Make memories. Go on vacations. And above all, have fun. It’s the greatest gift you can give yourself, to fondly remember your childhood, and teach your own children to value it in the same way. If you devote your entire time to writing essays for applications, or to watching every new series Netflix has to offer(Not to mention old ones you’ve already seen when you can’t find anything new), you need to rethink the way you value freedom.