By Aasha Amber Bhatnagar

Though it’s definitely a long shot to be thinking of my summer plans, Looking forward to life after the Spring semester has helped me stay out of a slump, and has been, overall, a positive thing to look forward to after countless days stuck inside. Summer is just around the corner, and while this pandemic seems like it’s never going to end, that doesn’t stop me from thinking about everything I’m going to do when life goes back to normal. 

I miss my friends and being around humans other than my mom (no offense, Mom). And as much as I valued having “alone time” before the coronavirus outbreak, I now crave human interaction.

I live in California, and summer is my favorite season because we all head to the beach or to our favorite, trendy outdoor cafes in summery clothes, admiring the amazing weather and the vibe of just existing in the state. But now, with COVID-19 spreading rampantly through public places, I don’t think going to the beach is something I’ll do for a very long time.

I miss wearing cute sundresses and walking down Santa Barbara’s State Street, cold iced tea in one hand, my hair flowing in the wind, or sitting on the outdoor patio of my best friend and my favorite Italian restaurant, then driving back to L.A. on the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows rolled down. Memories like that are what I’ll miss the most this summer, and other simple pleasures that come with living in California that I would normally take for granted.

The Orange County Fair is one of the things I always look forward to in the summertime, but this year, the event had been canceled for the first time since World War II (which is crazy to think about). I love the fair because it’s an annual tradition for my best friend and me, but this year we’ll have to find a new tradition. 

I’m really hoping this pandemic allows us to return to normal life before August, which is when I’ll be celebrating my 21st birthday. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to spend my 21st birthday in Disney World’s Epcot, but I have no idea whether or not Disney parks will reopen before then. Regardless, I’m excited to be turning 21 this summer, and I also know that my mom and friends will work hard to make my day special…even if we can’t leave the house.

In reality, as much as going to the beach and being close to people again sounds amazing, I want this pandemic to end so the human suffering ends and businesses can return to normal operations and so healthcare workers can take a breather. Let’s all do our part so we can enjoy the summer season!