Spring semester is finally over, and many students have moved back home for the summer season. It’s usually a great time to spend with family, catch up with friends or enjoy time outside while the weather is warm. But UC Berkeley sophomore Nathan Todo has a different story. He’s spending June through August in his hometown of Deslit, California, where he’ll end up laying in bed and staring at his walls every day, just like the last couple of summers.
“There isn’t much stuff to do back here,” Todo says as he sits on his front porch, sorting his notes from the previous semester. Before continuing, Todo stares off into the distance for three hours, stirring his tea. He is so used to responding to email and Slack messages that he often has lapses in attention when communicating with people in person. “Most of my friends from Deslit are on the quarter system so I’m just here until they come back,” he reveals after his silence. In the meanwhile, Todo plans to spend his time doing, well, not much.
Deslit has a sizable population of 80,000 people with various activities to do about the town. Todo has planned for years to take advantage of the nearby beaches, nice restaurants and shopping centers, but each summer, he ends up too exhausted from the semester to actually cross anything off his summer bucket list. Todo maintains that there is nothing interesting enough to convince him to plan an activity or trip and adds “driving to places that take more than five minutes takes too much energy.” For Todo, summer vacation must be purely a vacation — no extreme exertion or effort to remind him of the semester.
For fear of unintentionally making any work for himself, Todo sticks to activities that he knows are comfortable and practically effortless. Sources say that Todo goes to Deslit’s Target location at least 10 times a week, but his current trip marks his 17th visit, a personal record.
“He visits the store so often that we know his name,” says Bill Zye, the manager of Target. “We even tell our new employees about Nathan during training.” The store has also given Todo his own parking spot, removing the expectant mothers’ one just for him.
As Todo enters the store, all the employees greet him in unison. He wanders about Target for several hours, picking up candles and smelling them, sitting down in the furniture aisle’s couches, browsing the book section and staring at the mirrors while having an existential crisis. He makes sure to hide behind a mannequin whenever he sees someone he knows, just in case they try to ask him about his major or what he plans to do with his life after college. Surprisingly, as much time he spends in the store, he doesn’t buy anything. “I’m here for the experience,” Todo adds. “The ambience is quite peaceful.”
Entering his bedroom, there are tally marks carved into the walls that count down the days until the fall semester starts. “I really wanted to take a break from school this summer,” Todo confesses. “However, school gives me structure and without it, I don’t really have anything to do with my free time.”
Todo promises himself that he’ll be trying to get back into reading and finish the pile of books he has bought, something that he’s been telling himself for the past five summers. He also plans to take a social media break and enjoy the real world, despite treating Twitter as his morning paper.
Before Todo can give another quote, he leaves for his 18th Target trip this week.
This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.
Contact Nicholas Clark at [email protected].