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For several years I’ve always believed that summer was my favourite of the four seasons. I would start thinking about it in March or April, longing for the days of warm weather and sunshine. But now I think I’m changing my mind a little. I’ve been feeling a little bit miserable this summer and I no longer hold it in such high regard. As such, I’ve decided to make two lists: one is for the things I love about summer, the other is for the things I hate about summer.

Love:

1. Basking in the sun. I love the feeling of the warmth on my skin as I soak up some natural vitamin D. The extra sunshine also gives me a much needed break from the SAD that I suffer with in the winter months. It’s nice to have day after day of sunshine to perk up my mood.

2. Wearing only one layer of clothing. One of the things I hate most about winter is that before I go out I have to make sure I’m wearing a coat, scarf, gloves, hat, boots, etc. In summer I can walk out my door in just a dress and not have to worry about anything else.

3. Festivals and outdoor concerts. Toronto comes alive in the summer. Suddenly every neighbourhood takes turn having a weekend long party like Taste of the Danforth and Taste of Little Italy. There are huge festivals like Pride Toronto and Caribana. Yonge-Dundas Square constantly puts on free concerts and several areas around the city have free outdoor screenings of movies. There’s so much to do that it’s hard to fit it all in.

4. The Canadian National Exhibition, or as most people call it, The Ex. The Ex has been a Toronto tradition since 1879! Every year I go with my mom. We spend most of our time touring the Arts & Crafts building, buying homemade jams and taking advantage of all the free samples. Every year the food building features some kind of crazy concoction (last year it was a burger that used donuts as buns), the horses are shown off in trick riding shows, and exciting rides are featured in the midway. This is one tradition that I just can’t give up.

Okay, now here’s what I hate about summer:

1. The heat. Yes, I complain about the winter weather but summer can be just as bad. This summer we’ve had temperatures in the thirties with the humidex at times reaching 42°C (that’s 108°F). The heat and humidity become unbearable and at times have literally made me sick.

2. Sweat. This clearly relates back to the heat. I am a sweaty person. Even in winter I sweat. It drives me bonkers to constantly be wiping sweat from my brow because it’s so hot. What’s worse is that I can’t even wear makeup. I tried several times but I was so sweaty that even with primer and powder, my makeup just melted right off my face.

3. Bad skin. This one is of course related to all that sweat, which stems from the heat. See a pattern here? My skin has been pretty good since I did a round of Accutane but this summer has had my skin breaking out and I can only put it down to all the sweating I’ve been doing. It’s really odd to get pimples in the middle of my cheeks (the least oily parts of my face) and I don’t like it.

4. Awkward tan lines and sun damage. As much as I like to feel the sun on my skin, sometimes it gets to be too much. I don’t really burn but my skin just goes kind of red. And then there are the tan lines. Since I don’t actually try to tan, these lines just build up over summer based on what I’m wearing and I always get weird lines in the shape of my clothing and sandals. It looks awkward.

5. Mosquitos. I am one of those people that attracts mosquitos like moths to a flame. I don’t know what it is about me but I step foot outside and suddenly they are all over me. I’ve tried various tips and even some natural repellents but the only thing that works is spraying myself from head to toe with chemicals and even then I still get a few bites.

Well, that’s my list. Summer has both good and bad aspects but I think from now on I’m going to look forward to the more moderate seasons of spring and fall.

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