Labor Day is the “unofficial end of summer,” and I hate it. It doesn’t feel like fall the first week of September. We’ve had like 3 90-degree days since then. It’s still getting dark relatively late(-ish). And as for the school year starting? I don’t have kids (take that, half of the people I meet while running errands or whatever who feel the need to ask whether I have kids), nor AM I a kid (take that, other half of the people I meet while running errands or whatever who feel the need to ask what school I go to. Why do people talk to me, again?).
But something happens two or three weeks after Labor Day. You need a jacket in the morning, and it’s dark out before primetime shows hit the screen. [By the way, how perfect is the old-school September-to-May TV schedule? It falls exactly during the months when it’s dark out by 8:00.] On Labor Day I am still raging against the dying of the light, but by the actual first day of fall – September 23 this year – I’m pretty much ready for it to go.
The tough thing in a four-season climate is knowing that you are saying goodbye to warm weather for another 8 months or so. You want to know that you’ve gotten everything you could out of summer. So, we have one week. And I have this list of Summer Bucket List items from Seventeen Magazine, perfect for someone my age (according to half of the strangers who talk to me), or my fake daughter’s (according to the other half of strangers who talk to me)! Let’s do it! Do not go gentle into that good night, friends.
Read 3 New Books.
Recreate the last week of summer when you were a teen and realized that you had not started your six summer reading books, all of which were hefty Thomas Hardy-type situations. Or go for quick classic reads: Wayside School Is Falling Down, Superfudge, and the Goosebumps classic Say Cheese and Die!
Take A Picture Every Day This Summer And Make A Flipgram Insta vid at the end!
By “this summer” we mean “this week.” Fun photo ideas: squeezed onto public transit among a bunch of raucous youths on their way to school, a progression of the three different outfits you have to wear to accommodate the different temperatures throughout the day, a traffic jam you’re sitting in near your closest NFL stadium.
Except it’s a weekday in September, so you’ll have to find one of those free mid-day Concert In The Park deals, where the headlining act is Thankful Death (a Grateful Dead cover band) or The JetLiners (a 1950s-stye “rock” band that is comprised of 5 guys who were born in the 1950s, and then one guy’s young nephew who knows how to play bass). Or listen to a busker. Hey, you waited until September, you take what you get.
Have An Outdoor Picnic
For most of us, that means take your lunch outside during work. Not a youth in earshot. Ah, the sweet sounds of almost-Fall.
Invite Your BFFs Over For A DIY Craft Night
Not sure why this is a summer thing, but OK. Turn all of those mason jars from your one friend’s summer wedding into mason jars with lights and leaves in them: here are 20 mason jar fall crafts. Or just make a crayon rubbing of a fallen leaf, open a bottle of wine, and call it a day.
Kiss A Cutie On The Beach
I’m going to be frank with you. It’s September, and your choices are limited. The cutie you kiss on the beach may have to be a cutie who LIVES on that beach, but hey, you’ll probably make someone’s day.
Barbecue with your friends (just make sure to get permission from the ‘rents first).
They said it’s fine, and please never call us the ‘rents again.
Tie Dye your old clothes
You should have done this on DIY craft night.
Now that I’ve finally seen Crossroads I know that roadtrips aren’t so fun. But if you go this weekend, you can hit the wineries before leaf season starts!
Put Together A Scavenger Hunt With Your Friends
Do you still have friends after you made them do crafts and take a roadtrip? Awesome, now make them find a bunch of stuff that’s not lost. Possible items: person holding a pumpkin spice latte, girl wearing a quilted vest, riding boots, and an oxford shirt (whatever, it’s comfy!), a tree changing color, residual tanlines from that weird trip to the beach you took a few days ago.
Have An All-Day Netflix Movie Marathon
I will do this any season of any year.
Host A Bakeoff With Your BFFs
There is a lot of forced fun this week. Hope your friends are cool with it. Is it time to make fall foods with apple and pumpkin yet? Does that defeat the purpose of a end-of-summer list?
Well, these are coming up depressingly soon.
I thought there would be more stuff like “go to a water park! go hiking! try Sun-In!” on a list of summer activities from 17 Magazine, but sure, go ahead. Go thrifting. Or better yet, take all of the summer stuff you didn’t wear this year to a thrift shop and donate it.
I am really bad at this “let loose, live like it’s summer” mindset.
You already kissed that rando on the beach, so I think you have already done your good deed for the week.
Do A Fun Photoshoot With Your Friends
Why are there so many pictures?! Okay. For this photoshoot, we’re going to compress a summer’s worth of activities into one day. Stand near a tree and pretend you’re camping, make a janky smore in the microwave and eat it, hold a hose like you are having a water fight, take a pic of a shopping cart full of bug spray and sunscreen. Post them online and let everyone think you had the most action-packed summer ever!
Try something you’ve never done before.
For instance, try to make summer last for one more week even though everything around you is confirming that – officially or not – it is totally already fall.