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How I Went From Hot Girl Summer to Healing Girl Summer

Ah, the excitement of summer 2021. Covid restrictions slowly being lifted, vaccines distributed, and having the chance to travel and be with our friends in groups again. Everyone planned an infinite number of beach days, found self-help podcasts, and worked towards getting their dream body back after “quarantine 15”. You might have heard about it – a “hot girl summer”.

Leading up to June, I planned to make this my best summer yet. More specifically, my very own “hot girl summer”. Coming fresh out of a breakup, all I heard was “show him what he’s missing” and “live your best life”. In an effort to do so, I started working out, bought a new wardrobe, and got my hair done. I won’t lie – it was fun to have a little makeover! But I realized that I was focused only on my appearance, not on my mental health. I was neglecting my friends and now that the semester was finished and I didn’t have assignments to keep me occupied, I realized the toll my breakup had on me and how pessimistic I became. Safe to say it became more of a “anxious, sad, lost girl summer”.

I ending up burning out because I put so much pressure on myself to make a crazy change and live up to the glow up transformation that every girl seems to achieve after a breakup. Everyday I only catered to my physicality, failing to nurture my mind. Once I realized that I was neglecting my mental health, my newfound “healing girl summer” commenced, and from there on I focused on building myself back up to a “hot, healed, vaxxed girl”. Because honestly, I deserve it.


My summer definitely didn’t go as imagined, but it turned out even better. I finally made myself a priority – I started going to therapy again for my anxiety, spent more time focusing on my friendships, and discovered new hobbies. I listened to new artists (talking about you, T-Swift), and read books that I kept putting off. It turns out that I’m an absolute sucker for rom-com books. Yet most importantly, I extended myself grace. Healing is about slowing down and finding purpose. I let myself cry when I felt like it, began loving what I’m insecure about, and took a break off of social media. It was so revitalizing for my soul, and I left summer with a brighter perspective.

The healing didn’t end once summer did. I still have my bad days where all I want to do is hide under my blankets and never come out, but it’s about how I handle it now that makes a difference. A few months ago I would ignore the pain and do something to distract myself, but now I work through it. There isn’t a deadline to be okay by, and healing is linear. Unlearning my negative thought processes and knowing that I deserve better is all part of a process. A brutal process, but a process that is so worth it.

When I started my “healing girl summer” I told myself that I want freshmen, insecure me to look up to my now senior year self. Today, I think she would. And she would definitely want to cry about rom-coms with me and go on coffee dates.

Makayla Holbrook is a Campus Correspondent here at HC Hawai'i and majoring in Secondary Education with a focus on English. Outside of writing, you can find her watching cooking competition shows, getting lost in romance novels, playing with her dogs, and trying new coffee shops.
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