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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Final exams, ten-page papers, moving back home, saying goodbye to college friends for the summer; with the impending doom that the end of the year often brings, it is difficult to imagine my life as anything other than stressful

Yet, even in the midst of all the assignments, packing, and one-last-times with my roommates, there is a comfort to be found in the freedom—the peace—that lies ahead of me once summer begins. I try to remind myself of this peace, thinking about the warm summer breeze, the lazy weekend mornings, the relief of having no homework or group projects to worry about. 

Most of all, I have been reminding myself that with the absence of school, I will have newfound freedom to return to my other interests, things that I can never find time to indulge in during the school year. Anyone who knows me, or anyone who has read my articles, knows that I am obsessed with all things media. Movies, television shows, books, music, and everything in between: I love all the myriad ways that art can tell us stories.  

Because summertime is when I finally get a chance to listen to new albums, have movie marathon nights with my friends, and check off books on my “To Be Read” list, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. So, for my final article before summer, I present an assortment of movies, books, and music that I hope to make time for over the next few months. I hope you enjoy! 

Movies

my recommendation: Call ME BY Your Name

There really is no other time to watch this film than on a lazy summer evening. I’ve seen it a number of times before, but it simply never gets old. Set in Northern Italy, Call Me By Your Name is a beautifully tragic coming-of-age story about Elio Pearlman and the summer he meets Oliver, an older doctoral student staying with Elio’s family for the season. Call Me By Your Name, like all of Luca Guadagnino’s films, is rich with beautiful visuals and heart-wrenching monologues, ensuring you leave the film with a heavy heart and a dreamy mind. Out of every recommendation I give in this article, this is the piece of media I recommend the most.

My watchlist:

Casablanca – Michael Curtiz, 1943

Paris, Texas – Wim Wenders, 1984

Before Sunset – Richard Linklater, 2004 

Brokeback Mountain – Ang Lee, 2005

Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson, 2012

Baby Driver – Edgar Wright, 2017

Aftersun – Charlotte Wells, 2022

All of Us Strangers – Andrew Haigh, 2023

Books

My recommendation: Circe by madeline miller

I first read this book the summer before my freshman year of college, and it has stuck with me ever since. Madeline Miller is one of my favorite authors, and if you’re a fan of mythology or retellings of classical narratives, then this book is for you. Circe—while filled with the whimsy and intrigue of all mythological tales—is also a deeply emotional, critical, and nuanced story about a woman who undergoes a constant struggle to find a place for herself in the world. This combination of mythology and timelessness is why Circe stands out to me as such a moving piece of literature, and I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone looking for a new summer favorite. 

My reading list:

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce, 1916

East of Eden – John Steinbeck, 1952

Just Kids – Patti Smith, 2010

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton, 2018

Beach Read – Emily Henry, 2020

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain – George Saunders, 2021

MUSIC

my recommendation: Stick season (we’ll all be here forever)

One of the most meaningful albums I’ve ever listened to, Noah Kahan’s Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever) is a beautiful example of the power of storytelling through song. An ode to growing up, growing apart, moving on, and moving forward, Kahan’s album has resonated with me for so many different reasons at so many different times, which I believe is what makes it a nearly flawless album. Perfect for late night drives, evenings around the campfire, reading by the pool, and everything in between, Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever) is, in my opinion, an essential album to add to your musical rotation this summer. 

My listen list:

Blood On The Tracks – Bob Dylan, 1975

Pure Heroine – Lorde, 2013

Honeymoon – Lana Del Rey, 2015

Citrona – Flipturn, 2018

songs – Andrianne Lenker, 2020

HIT ME HARD AND SOFT – Billie Eilish, 2024

Charm – Clairo, 2024 (comes out July 12!) 

Lasso – Lana Del Rey, 2024 (comes out sometime in September!) 

As you may notice, I have a lot of media to dive into over the course of the summer. Will I stick to this list? Probably not. But, in any case, I’m over-the-moon about being able to spend more time with these movies, books, and music, hopefully finding some new favorites along the way. 

I hope you all have an amazing summer! See you next year!

Tara Boyd

Washington '26

Tara is a second year student at the University of Washington. She is studying English Literature and hopes to one day be an author. In her free time, Tara can be found reading, dancing, going to concerts, and spending time with loved ones!