Editorial: Be kind this summer

After two summers in the height of a pandemic, students are ready to get back to more social summer activities, but should remember common courtesy when doing so


Beth Brackmann

Summer comes along with a ton of insecurities for some, so having good summer ettiquette is imperative for everyone to have a safe happy summer.

Editorial Board

An outburst of laughter can be heard from behind a teenager on the beach. When she turns around, it is a large friend group. At first she thinks nothing of it, but as she drifts off she overhears what they are saying. They were laughing at her and all she could do was sit and question what was wrong with her. She hears them comment about her swimsuit, her body, her hair and anything they can think of. She begins to cry and she gets up to pack up her things and leave. Later when she is home, she stares into the mirror as the voices of the group point out everything that is conventionally wrong with her, but in reality nothing is truly wrong. 

In past years, summer plans have been deeply affected by the pandemic. This year we will be returning to a more normal summer. In previous years, before the pandemic, many people have been affected by the judgment of others. When returning to more normal times, we should work to prevent this from repeating. 

It’s been a long time since many people have been comfortable to go out and actively do things in the summer. After more than two years inside, it is easy to forget that many people have things going on in their life that have affected their bodies. Whether that be scars from surgeries or self harm, acne, and being more fat or more thin than others. These are not things that should be pointed out by anyone, either to the person’s face or behind their back. If a person cannot easily change it, like a piece of food on their face, pointing it out will do nothing but lower someone’s self esteem. 

Commenting on peoples’ choice of clothing or protection when it comes to the pandemic can cause self esteem issues and other problems. Summer can be a time for people to experiment with their style and what they feel comfortable wearing, and commenting on that could push them backwards in any confidence they’ve gained. This can cause them to go back to dressing in ways that make them feel uncomfortable and not themselves. Especially when it comes to COVID precautions, no one should make comments about people’s choices to or not to wear a mask, as you never know why they choose what they do. They could have an immunocompromised family member, or have respiratory issues themselves. It’s best to respect others’ choices when it comes to what they choose to put on their body. 

Enjoying summer by taking a vacation and going out is not wrong, but ridiculing others who can’t is. Many students work during the summer to fund post-secondary plans or support their families, and bragging about vacations can be insensitive. Situations and schedules often prevent individuals from going out, which shouldn’t be something to make fun of or point out. Other individuals simply prefer to be in the comfort of their homes, some have medical conditions, some are cautious about COVID-19 and some have strict parents. Everyone’s situation is different. Not everyone can financially, physically or mentally afford to take a vacation or go out every night in the summer. Being judgemental will only lead to others feeling self-conscious and negatively impacting mental health. Everyone’s version of summer looks different — and all are valid.

People often say they are just joking around when they are judging or commenting on others, but whether it was a joke or not, many people go home with the words that were said about their decisions or bodies. This can have a long or short term effect on people, but it is not worth risking their mental health for a supposed joke.

Comments and judgment upon others can affect them greatly or minimally, but no matter which one, it is unnecessary. Everyone should concern themselves with only themselves and not share opinions with others unless it is constructive or positive. People can take every word and joke differently, so it is best to not risk worsening someone else’s self esteem.