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Why your summer sucked

Travel chaos, dystopian politics, a distinct lack of sex - this is why summer 2022 was a flop.

August 30 2022, 16.48pm

We’re officially at the end of summer, 2022. A summer we were patiently waiting for. A summer that held so much promise. The much anticipated roaring twenties got off to a stuttering start, with 2020 and 2021 blighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the bushfire crisis, the return of civil rights protests after the murder of another Black man. This season was supposed to turn it around. We were excited. Festivals were returning, travel was back on the cards, and the coronavirus was slowly losing its grip as more of us were vaccinated and fewer people died. This was reason enough to feel optimistic. But somehow, this summer was more disappointing than the men you meet on Hinge

We’re exhausted. It doesn’t seem like as many people care about the things that are going wrong. Nothing we’ve done this year compares to the Black Lives Matter protests that rallied us together two years ago.. Politics couldn’t be less inspiring. The Conservative Party leadership race offered us a choice between different flavours of psychopath. 

We thought the pandemic could lead to a workplace revolution - empowering workers with greater flexibility and a better work/life balance. Instead, working conditions and standards of living are declining. We’re still not getting enough of a pay rise to deal with the cost of living crisis, and it’s only those who are in privileged positions in the middle of their careers who can afford to quit their jobs.

We thought Glastonbury was going to be the best Glastonbury in history. Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Olivia Rodrigo all delivered. But it was also the moment we found out that the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and that abortion was made illegal in some states in America. Jetting off abroad ended up being a nightmare for thousands as queues, cancellations and chaos plagued airports for months. We hoped this summer could at least inject some sex and excitement into our lives after a two-year drought of social interaction, but it never materialised. Lockdown might be over, but we’re still having less sex than our parents, and the dating pool is reportedly declining. This is hardly surprising as so many of our favourite pubs and clubs have closed down - there are fewer places to meet people than ever. 

Not even the sunshine helped improve things. It’s hard to enjoy the heat when annual record-breaking temperatures are a sign of civilisation’s impending doom. We’ve just had the driest July since 1935. The small joy of basking in a warm summer’s morning with an iced latte in hand is now tainted with thoughts of your own mortality, and fears for your current or future children.

Bleak. And sure, we could try to focus on the short-term instead - but it’s not easy when there’s an energy crisis and our bills are set to rise by 13.3% this October, with potential blackouts as close as *checks notes* this autumn. It doesn’t matter how many leafy, cosy Pinterest boards you make. Pumpkin-spiced lattes and reruns of Gilmore Girls aren’t going to keep you warm when. Everything we try to do feels about as useful as clapping for the NHS. This summer is like a watered down Aperol Spritz from a gentrified bar in Shoreditch - you feel exploited, powerless and not nearly as merry as you should be. 

There were some events that could have, in normal circumstances, provided the sparks to make this summer bang. The Lionesses won the Euros and women’s football is currently the fastest growing sport in the world. Gen-Z still seems pretty cool, they’ve been expanding their mind on small doses of mushrooms instead of getting binned on VK. We seem to be taking slightly less bullshit in the workplace, with the Great Resignation seeing people walk away from draining and toxic employment, and more people setting boundaries for themselves with ‘quiet quitting’. After at least two years of being beaten down, it’s easy to feel apathetic - but there are some glimmers of hope.

I reckon there’s still fight left within us, and when we get together we can achieve great things. Recently, groups of angry people have dragged down statues of slave traders, and after years of campaigning period products were recently made free in Scotland. Although the movie industry might have you believe otherwise, research suggests humans are useful and actually nice to each other during times of crisis.

The train strikes might have ruined some of your day trip plans, but hot strike summer is a hopeful sign of wider industrial action bubbling under the surface. It looks like there’s more to come. Extinction Rebellion has a six-phase movement planned starting in early September. 120,000 people have joined the Don’t Pay UK campaign in reaction to spiralling energy bills and the disproportionate profits energy bosses are raking in. The summer might have flopped, but maybe we can still make something of 2022.