What summer’s really like when you’re a girl living in a British seaside town

The plot of Aquamarine is not a reality


Living by the sea may seem like any girl’s ultimate dream. You could earn a living making shell necklaces and/or saving turtles, sunbathe every day and go on long, romantic walks along the sand overnight with your 6″2 surfer boyfriend.

However, for most of us, this lifestyle is nothing but a hopeful fantasy. When you are home for summer, what you expected to be the time of your life and the ultimate time to chill doesn’t always end up as you’d planned.

Although you may live next to the beach and have written about 364 tweets about how much you can’t wait to be showing off that summer body once exams are over and have bonfires in the sunset with all your amazing friends, you have only been to the beach about once so far this summer. Who has the time to be frolicking about in that new bikini you bought in December and told yourself you’d wear your money’s worth of it when you it rains more or less everyday and you have to WORK.

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If you do make it to the beach you soon regret it when a killer seagull viscously swoops your ice cream out of your hands and you can’t freely wear a swimsuit without some creepy blokes making remarks about what a ‘lovely pair’ you’ve got. Also, it’s even worse when your stolen ice cream was a flake ‘99’ that cost £2.47.

Unlike those who live in really upbeat cosmopolitan cities, dabbling in a bit of work experience at a law firm or those who are lucky enough to ignore all their financial restraints and go and ‘work’/waste more money on booze and club entry tickets in Ibiza this summer, your ‘part-time’ summer job is usually in some café, pub or supermarket where you are paid minimum wage and are left with about six hours sleep max a night because you are there ALL THE TIME.

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When you eventually get the time off work to go somewhere new, making plans on the group chat is a nightmare because all your mates have equally shit jobs and no time off. There are only about two decent clothing shops so unless you travel at least an hour by car you are guaranteed to spot about four people wearing the same floral shirt from Topshop as you.

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The disappointment is real when you either sneak in or become old enough to enter the only club in town. You expected great things but really the cheap vodka gives you a two-day hangover, you’re more or less guaranteed to bump into that guy you’ve been avoiding for the past 7 months and once you’re there it’s hard to leave because your feet literally stick to the grotty floor.

Trying to add some variety into your weekend routine by trying a different drinking spot isn’t always the best idea. Remember that time you went to that pub that everyone warned you was a ‘shithole’ but you took a risk – because what was there to lose? – but then a 47-year-old man wearing a Hannah Montana T-shirt (not in an ironic way) offered to buy you a drink and when you politely declined he still tried to photobomb your Snapchat stories and pinch your arse in a ‘funny’ way.

The word that best describes the ‘dating scene’ is incestuous. Telling your mates about that hot new guy you met on Facebook or Tinder on a night out will often end in something like “oh yeah he dated X last year, once slept with Y and I’m pretty sure he tried it on with me the other night. Oh wait, I think the last one could have been your ex.”

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Making an effort with your appearance when you’re just nipping out for a coffee with the girls is pointless. Since about the age of 16 you stopped believing that you’d accidentally spill your skinny mocha frappe all over the floor and a boy with a face like Ed Westwick and abs like Channing Tatum would come to the rescue and help clean up the mess you left behind. Why? Because about 87 per cent of the male population seem to be over 65, nine per cent are fuckboys whose idea of a great date is a trip to McDonalds drive-thru that you will pay for in return for ‘petrol money’, three per cent are already taken and one per cent are decent guys that you have given up on trying to find.

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On the whole though, being a girl in a lil’ ol’ seaside town can have its perks. Your friends are all most likely to live close by so catching up whenever and going on spontaneous night-time road trips is pretty easy. Although you might not appreciate the beach everyday, when it comes to thinking of romantic dates it’s hard to run out of ideas when the sea is literally five minutes away.

Your dream of re-enacting the scene in Grease where Sandy and Danny run around in the sand can easily come true. Unfortunately, so can the part when he acts like a player in front of his mates the next week, tells everyone how much of a stud he was and tries to act like you never existed. But other than that, life by the sea is pretty sweet.