How to Enjoy Pop Culture in the Summertime: An Autobiography

Since I seem to be a perpetual student, the summers in my life have always carried the promise of relaxation and calm, the perfect antidote to the hectic school year. This summer is especially empty for two primary reasons: 1. most of my close friends are either moving to start their professional careers or internships, and 2. I, on the other hand, have just graduated from college and have plans to begin grad school and and a grad assistantship in the fall. Since my commitments don’t require anything of my until late-August, I’m basically just coasting through life right now. Having lots of free time is both a blessing and a burden, so I thought I might fill some of it up talking about my recent and/or current pop culture endeavors to say what’s been keeping me busy.

TV — Last summer I completed an embarrassing number of TV viewing projects, and since I was taking an online class and writing my honors thesis, I was plenty busy on my own. Since I’m a free agent this summer, I’m expecting even more from myself. I’m currently about 10 episodes into the fifth season of Gossip Girl, a project I started during my final week of classes. It certainly isn’t the greatest show ever, but it provides me entertainment. My mom and I also sped through the entirety of The Comeback last week, partially to prepare for the show’s return this fall after having been canceled in 2005. Since then, we started working on The Sopranos, but we’ve only watched the pilot, so no major progress there. And I’ve already decided that once I’m finished with Gossip Girl (of which I have fewer than thirty episodes left to watch), I’m going to continue my progress on Seinfeld and Cheers (in that order) so I can hopefully knock at least one of them out before I head back to school this fall.

Movies — Summer blockbusters aside, I love having the free time to attempt to clean out my list of movies on Netflix and HBOGO. Thanks to On Demand, the process of watching HBO is becoming much easier. Just yesterday I watched The East and The Purge, both of which I’d been interested it for a while. As far as my theater-going experiences, I’ve seen The Fault in Our Stars (twice), 22 Jump Street, and Jersey Boys. Since my goal for 2014 is to watch 125 new movies, I’m still 9 movies ahead of schedule, and I hope to continue to build my head start throughout the summer.

Books — Summer reading is something I look forward to year-round, and in the four weeks since I graduated, I’ve already completed eight books and I’m making good progress on the ninth. Some of my favorites so far have been The Maze Runner, Of Mice and Men, andFangirl. I just ordered my copy of The Silkworm, and I’m really looking forward to reading that soon. Right now I’m working on The Marriage Plotwhich I find fairly exhausting, but I’m trying to power through. Next on my reading agenda is Gone Girlwhich I read in 2012, but I want to refresh my memory before the film adaptation comes out this fall.

So, back to all this “work” I’ve been doing. On tonight’s agenda: enjoy some time to myself, hopefully crossing another movie off the list, and finishing another chapter of The Marriage Plot. Summer, you’re too good to me.

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