title. Summer Essentials

name. Lucia Villegas

right now. Second year studying Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh

Summer Essentials

Too many of my summers have passed in a sort of sunshine induced haze in which I loll about in my house, moving from living room to bed back to living room, complete with a lengthy dabble in the kitchen (or two). I usually lug my laptop to and fro, Netflix streaming my show of the season or Mac DeMarco crooning about leafy greens in the background. I get testy, eat way too many rice cakes, and eventually leave the house in an attempt of normalcy only to find myself being attacked by furious rays of sunshine. Momentarily blinded, I reach into my bag- but in my flurry to leave the house, I forgot all my Essentials™.

Don’t let that be you. Compiled below are the essential items I always hope to find in my bag (but often do not):

  1. Sun Protection: A classic summer staple, sunscreen never goes out of style. Do your research on what type of sunscreen is best for your skin tone and type. Keep a mini- size (cute AND portable!!) sunscreen with at least SPF 15 in your bag for everyday use. Invest in a higher SPF bottle for high-exposure days. Throw in a pair of sunglasses and you’re ready for a beach day (or the walk to the shops).

  2. Lip Balm: The sunscreen of the lips. Bonus points for: flavour, tint, and SPF.

  3. Earbuds: An essentials list would not be complete without these bad boys. As a

    verifiable Neat Freak, I would suggest keeping them in a small container (pouch, tin,

    pocket) in order to prevent breakage or, worse, tangling.

  4. Playlist: This goes ear in ear (save me from myself) with item number 3. Whatever

    music listening app you use, whatever genre you prefer, make sure you have a playlist that makes you happy and reminds you of summer (or not, if you’d rather be cosying up by the fire in your imaginary ski cabin). Make your own or mooch off a public one- that’s your prerogative.

  5. “Emergency” Kit: Once again, self-labelled Neat Freak. Also, occasional Mom of the Friend Group. If you too would like to fall under these umbrella terms, stuff some useful items (plasters, nail file, toothpick, hair tie, etc.) into a container (is the running theme becoming apparent yet?) of your choice and call it a day.

  6. Water Bottle: Hydration is literally vital. Be kind to the earth and buy a reusable water bottle. If you only drink ice cold water on principle, make sure it’s a well- insulated one.

  7. Book: Be it a physical copy or a Kindle, you never know when a queue might be longer than expected or when a friend might dilly-dally on their walk to the café. Be prepared. Expect the unexpected. Et cetera.

  8. Notebook: Along the same vein, a notebook (+ writing utensil) to jot your thoughts in is another good way to pass the time. While I suggest using it more than just occasionally, you may find that even the casual writing session could lead to great things.

  9. Snack(s): It’s happening. Your stomach is throwing a fully-fledged tantrum. You try to pacify it with water and your friend’s mints, but it won’t be that easily tamed. Pack a snack of your liking and rest easy knowing that the beast has been satisfied- for now.

10. Actual essentials: Money, IDs, keys, bus pass. The whole shebang.

I hope this list has proven useful and slightly entertaining. Of course, if you’d prefer to say “fuck it” and carry around nothing but your flesh and soul, be my guest. These items are mere suggestions.