Jesuit Life Hack: Making the Summer Last

We all know the feeling. The stillness and heat of the summer settle upon you: you see the calendar, realize the move-in date, or a friend asks what your schedule for next semester looks like… And then it hits you: summer is nearly gone.

Thankfully, our pop culture contributors at The Jesuit Post—master procrastinators at heart—have composed a list of last-minute solutions designed to help stretch your summer. Our list of things to enjoy, to play, to binge, and to do… All are aimed at encouraging you to soak in the last vestiges of sunshine and freedom before the 2017-2018 school year begins.

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“Don’t Stop Believing in Late Summer Concert Tours” — by  Emanuel Werner, SJ

Lady Gaga performs at the 2017 Superbowl.

Here’s a thought: Why not hit up a couple great summer concerts to unwind and listen to music that moves your heart and soul?

Music is deeply spiritual and has a way of igniting the human spirit. Music invites us to share in the inspirations of the Spirit who moves us towards goodness, beauty, and love. Go get some! And enjoy the show! Here are my top three recommendations for must-see summer concerts to make summer last:

Lady Gaga is off to a very hot start on her world tour. I saw her perform about seven years ago, and she was excellent. Dynamic. Ferocious. Powerful. Thoughtful. Provocative. And yes, Faith-Filled. A must-see performer.

Ed Sheeran is also on a massive tour across globe. His music is inventive and getting a ton of air time these days. His rhythmic guitar, charming voice, and stellar storytelling connects his listeners to the tender moments of their own lives. His gifts are the hallmark of a great singer-songwriter who is a pleasure to witness at work. Check him out!

Last but certainly not least, my favorite guitarist of all time, Mr. John Mayer, is still holding it down on a world tour that started in late March. He keeps adding tour dates because he loves his craft, and people come out in droves to share in such love. I can’t wait to see him for the second time this summer in late August after seeing his amazing debut in Albany, New York. I just can’t get enough of his jazzy-blues-electric manifestations of guitar bliss! A true master!

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“The Fastest Game Alive”  — by Sean Barry, SJ

Sonic the Hedgehog.

If video games are your thing, Sonic Mania comes out on August 15th. Since I grew up playing the  classic Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Sega Genesis, I got excited when the game was first announced. From all that I’ve seen, this game is poised to continue in the vein of those 16-bit games, complete with some of the zones from the first four games.

Made by Headcannon and Pagoda West Games, Sonic Mania comes from people who have a tremendous love for the franchise. After all, they were the ones who produced the iOS ports of the original two Sonic games. For them, this is a labor of love, and I’m eager to see what they’re going to do with it.

If you grew up playing classic Sonic games, then here is your chance to revisit the retro feel of the early 90s or to pass along the fandom to a new generation. If this is your first foray into the world of Sonic, then let this be a chance for you to see just why a whole generation of gamers fell in love with the Blue Blur. Make sure you have seven Chaos Emeralds handy, because this game is going to go Super Sonic.

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“A Superhero Escape from the Semester” — by Colten Biro, SJ

ABC Television’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.S.

As the semester begins, do you need an escape from reality? Need a bit of super-powered, empowerment? Do you need a little last-minute summer binge?

If so, Netflix offers a range of binge-worthy superhero escapes. For those of you interested in the Marvel Universe, I highly recommend Marvel’s Agents of Shield. The series takes you from the Avengers (2012) movie through the current movie releases. Agents of Shield rests upon allusions to the Marvel movies, but more importantly it provides the background and connections which build into an all-encompassing universe. It offers the perfect supplement to the films and demonstrates Marvel’s complicated, interconnected, and well-written universe. Agents of Shield is exceptional in terms of acting and storylines, and it is visually spectacular—certainly demonstrating special effects worthy of the big screen.

Netflix Originals also offers a range of Marvel miniseries: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and The Iron Fist. Each one provides both a pleasant escape and deeper exploration into larger social themes: rule of law, consent, race, duty, and identity. They are also binge-worthy and rightfully deserve an honorable mention as you seek ways to escape the impending doom of the semester.

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“Roll Your Windows Down and Groove ”  — by David Inczauskis, SJ

If you have a car, go out for a joy ride and listen to Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” on repeat full blast. If you don’t have a car, pretend that you’re buying one and test out the bass with Charlie Puth’s “Attention.” (MGMT says there’s always time to pretend, and that’s the perfect oldie to add to your 2017 late summer playlist).

Music marks spaces of time and turns them into memories. A Jesuit classmate and I hear a slightly dated pop song on the radio, and we identify it by our year in high school or college. It sparks some lovely conversations about the pastmostly, we share  embarrassing stories and then audibly wonder, “What were we thinking?”

Make new memories. Find a car, pick up your friends, and head to the nearest beach or mountain. Roll the windows down and begin to sing/scream the lyrics to your favs.

There’s no way I’m returning to the school year without some such ecstatic experience, and you shouldn’t either.

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So to all of you looking with longing at the calendar, hoping for a moment or two more of freedom, or simply trying to find a way to soak up a little more joy before the semester… We in the Pop Culture Section wish you good luck!

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The cover photo is courtesy of Pexel. 

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