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30 Worst Things about Summer

Sorry, folks. June heralds the worst season them all.

After a by-all-accounts brutal winter—bomb cyclone witnesses, raise your hands—these nascent rising temperatures likely seem like a light at the end of a cold, dark tunnel. Finally, some bliss and warm-weather relaxation.

Woah, not so fast. While there is, indeed, a whole lot to look forward to in the summer (pools! sangria! convertibles! tanning on the beach!), there's even more to dread. In fact, just off the top of my head, I can think of 30 downright horrible that rear their head come June (or May, in some seriously unlucky locales). For your consternation, here they are. Read on. Before you know it, you'll be counting down the minutes to Christmas. And if you need some help getting through this most horrid season, Here Is Every "Song of the Summer" for the Past 50 Years.

Lines at Music Festivals

Music Festival Summer

Music festivals are one of the great rituals of summer—from Lolla to Gov Ball, the lineup of festivals these days is nearly as long as festival lineups—but catching the best shows often means dealing with a lot of frustrating logistics. A festival of top-notch acts almost always also includes long lines for food, drink, and bathroom, as well as tons of complications around parking and an extra hour or two to get out when things are over. As it turns out, attending a music festival is be one of The 50 Best Bonding Activities for Married Couples.

The Pressure to Do Something

Girl Laying in Bed Summer

When the weather is crummy, it's the perfect excuse to stay in and do nothing. But a beautiful sunny day ratchets up the pressure to get out and take full advantage of the pleasant skies. It doesn't matter if you've been going out every day the past two weeks—a sunny day spent indoors calls forth an unpleasant feeling that you're wasting your time. If only a rainstorm would come and wash away your guilt. For some much-needed mood-boosters, check out these 20 Genius Tricks to Instantly Cheer Yourself Up.

Hangovers Are Worse

Hungover Man Summer

A hangover is bad enough, but try working through a headache and mild nausea with sun beating down and humidity that you could cut with a knife. A hot day makes even a slight hangover feel much, much worse. For more hangover cures, check out these 10 Best Science-Backed Hangover Cures.

City Stink

Walking Through the City in Summer

Strolling through the city is never so unpleasant as during the summer months, when the heat brings out the absolute grossest smells. Piles of trash and dirty alleyways are no problem when frozen solid during the winter months, but with the sun cooking them during the summer, you're dealing with an oppressive, revolting stench. For more on summer travel, check out these 15 Summer Family Trips Your Teenage Children Won't Hate.

Outdoor Movie Seating

Watching Outdoor Movie Summer

Warm weather brings out screens everywhere, with classic films and recent releases getting projected under the stars. It's a lovely way to enjoy a movie—except for how much it hurts your butt to do so. Whether sitting on damp lawn in a park, a blanket laid on concrete, or, in the best case, a lawn chair, something is going to be hurting when you stand after two hours. To make your outdoor theatre sweatproof, this is How to Transform Your Backyard into a State-of-the-Art Summer Movie Theater.

Sand in Your Clothes

Toes in Sand Summer

Ah, warm sand. Letting it flow through your toes feels fantastic. Getting it caught in your clothes… not so much. And it's nigh impossible to avoid when hitting up the beach, requiring you to take an extra shower (another one of summer's blights) after you get back to get the little grains out of the crevices and folds it manages to squeeze into.

Hot Car Seats

Woman Hot Car Seats Summer

After returning to your car after parking it in the sun all day (even if you thought you'd put it in the ideal shade spot), you have to spend a few minutes opening the doors and letting the hot air out as your seats cool down—unless you want to get burned.

Can't Use Your Kitchen

Man Cooking Summer

Barbecuing is fun, but you can't really do it every night of the week, which means prepping dinner over a stove when you're already sweating after a long day. After a few nights of overheating in the kitchen, you'll be making cold sandwiches for dinner the rest of the season.


Man with Fly Swatter Summer

Mosquitos, bees, wasps, you name it—the summer is when all the bugs come out in force and want nothing more than to make your life miserable.

Losing Sunglasses

Boy with Sunglasses Summer

No matter how careful you are with them, odds are good that you're going to lose at least one pair of sunglasses in a given summer. They're one of the easiest things to misplace and forget, and end up driving you to just by cheap pairs that you don't mind losing—but that look cheap, too.

Bad Television

No TV to Watch Summer

All the good shows come out in the spring and fall, leaving a depressing TV desert during the hot summer months where it's hard to find a show to really get excited about. It's a chance to catch up on those Netflix shows your friends have been telling you to watch for years, but hardly a time for "appointment TV."

Bad Movies

full house theater

It's kind of the opposite problem at movie theaters, where the major franchises drop their must-see installments, requiring you to buy tickets days or weeks in advance and stake out seats an hour before the thing even starts. They might be a lot of fun, but the summer blockbusters are rarely a chill night out.

Two-Shower Days

Man in Shower

One shower a day doesn't cut it during the summer months. You're sweaty from the night before or from running around all day, requiring you to refresh and clean up more than once.

Everyone's Out of Office

Woman Working Alone in Office Summer

If you're trying to get things handled at work, it seems almost every email is met with one of those "Automatic Reply" notifications, letting you know whoever you need to connect with is out of town and won't be back for a week. While it's great everyone is out and enjoying vacation, it's not so fun when you're stuck at work trying to get an answer to a question.

Remembering to Wear Sunblock

Woman Applying Sunscreen Summer

You get your morning routine down to a science—brush teeth, apply moisturizer, clip nails, head out. You know exactly how long all of it takes to ensure you are out the door at exactly the time you need to. But once the sun is out and intense, applying sunblock becomes a necessary addition. It may only take a minute, but it disrupts the flow of your morning and requires an annoying readjustment.

Sunblock in Your Eyes


Speaking of sunblock, by mid-afternoon—and earlier if you're outside and sweating—you likely are feeling a light sting around your eyes as the stuff you put on to protect you is suddenly causing you grief and discomfort. Not until you wash your face at the end of the day to get the stuff off do you feel at ease and comfortable again.


Gardening Summer

Sure, you've got to keep your yard tidy throughout the year, but the summer is when things really take off, with flowers blooming and grass growing. More importantly, you're spending more time outside, enjoying your backyard that's laid dormant in colder months, which means you've got to get it trimmed and looking sharp—something that can take up a whole weekend.

Food Rots Faster

chicken wrapped plastic

As anyone who's opened a left-out-in-the-heat package of chicken can attest, the smell is paralyzingly horrible. (Like rotten hardboiled eggs that went sour.) With sweltering weather, your run the risk of this on the daily.

Beach Boomboxes

Beach Party Summer

Beach days are an essential part of the summer, and nothing is more fun than loading up the family or getting friends together to relax in the sand for the day…except that you aren't the only people on the beach. No trip to the water is complete without a few obnoxious people offering up a soundtrack for everyone else to enjoy, turning up their music and drowning out the sound of the water or your own conversation.

Scrubbing the BBQ

Man Cleaning Grill Summer

The first barbecue of the summer means the first big clean of the barbecue before you start cooking. That means dusting off those cobwebs and breaking out the brush to give the grill a serious going over. It's a pain and nobody likes to do it, but if the other option is a gross grill, it's just something you have to do to fully enjoy the summer.

Back Sweat

Man with Back Sweat Summer

It doesn't even have to be that hot—you're just going about your day, maybe walking back from lunch or going to meet friends when you feel that drip going down the small of your back and you know it's going to be joined by many more unless you get inside to air conditioning soon.

Sweat Marks

Man Sweating Summer

That back sweat will be a lot worse if you are wearing a shoulder bag or carrying a backpack, leaving behind a perfect sweat impression on your clothes of whatever you were wearing. And don't even get us started on the sweat marks you end up with after riding a bike to work.

Sun Burns

Woman with Sun Burn Summer

Of course you try to wear sunblock every day, especially when you know you'll be outdoors for a while and under the glare of the sun. But even the most vigilant appliers of sun protection can miss a spot or find themselves outside longer than they'd planned and without sunblock to refresh. Suddenly, reddening, peeling, and unpleasantness is part of your summer.

Watery Drinks

Watery Drinks Summer

Ice-cold drinks, whether they're cocktails or a refreshing iced tea, are one of the season's delights. But while that ice can make your drink cold, it also dilutes it after a few minutes, especially if enjoyed outside in the sun. If you don't drink it up right away, you're sipping watery nonsense that's a pale comparison to the drink you'd ordered. Contrast that with a hot chocolate, hot toddy or any other warm drink you enjoy in the winter—they may cool down, but they never get watered down.

Tick Checks

Hiking Summer

Hiking is one of the many activities that is best enjoyed during these warm months, but those who enjoy a more rugged outing off the beaten hiking path must add another tradition to their day: checking for blood-sucking ticks. Unless you want to risk Lyme disease or potential infection, this is a must-do task in the summer months.

Running Outside Is A Slog

Couple Jogging Summer

Running in high humidity is like running through hot butter…that somehow never melted. If you're a fan of regular outdoor exercise, enroll thee in an air-conditioned gym, stat.

Sand in Your Car

Cleaning out Sand in Car Summer

This might be worse than sand in your clothes. While you can toss your beach clothes in the washer, sandy car seats require a vacuum that you more than likely won't get to until a few weeks after each outing—after the grains have managed to find their way deep into the cushions and will be an even bigger pain to get out.

Brain Freeze

Brain Freeze Summer

Whether a margarita or frozen Icee, the summer is the time to enjoy a frothy, frozen beverage. But with that, comes the constant threat of brain freeze, making you feel like you've simultaneously got a migraine and minor aneurysm. It's enough to ruin the whole drink and have you tossing out your straw.

Hot Subway Platforms

Sweating on Subway Summer

Anyone living in or visiting big cities has experienced this particular misery during the summer: cramming on to a subway platform with sweat pouring down your face, jostling to get into the air conditioned car. If you thought the commute after work was miserable on a regular day, try it when the temperature has been turned up 40 degrees hotter.

Radical Temperature Shifts

woman shivering

Whether entering the overly air-conditioned subway or a store that's got its AC blasting, another unpleasantness of summer is having the temperature swing wildly from too hot to too cold in a matter of seconds. You're going clothes shopping for shorts and suddenly find yourself in need of a jacket just to spend another 10 minutes in the store. For more on surviving the summer, check out these 20 Easy Health Hacks That Will Make You Feel Better Every Day.

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Alex Daniel
A journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Read more