Everybody burns (sometimes) – Holly Folkard-Smith

With the exotic temperatures that have blessed the UK these past couple of days, the excitement of getting a natural glow and showing off your newest sunnies has been evident. The benches are being put to full use and the rule of keeping off the grass no longer seems applicable when the sun’s out. Not to mention the message that lifts everyone spirits telling you that you don’t have to wear a jumper, a blessing. Boys complain about their top button and teachers complain about short skirts but ultimately everyone should be happier, and yet the complaining continues; something that RHS pupils take great joy in doing.

There is always someone in your year who just has to look at the sun and gets an instant tan, but there are also some people who just have to look at the sun and get an instant regret; loading themselves up with a basket full of factor 50 and caps, whilst others happily stroll outside and sun bathe for hours, coming back in looking golden. However, if you do think that you are one of those lucky people, well, you’re not. The sun affects everyone in the same way, it is just the sensitivity of your skin and the way you protect yourself that makes the difference. Your skin’s epidermal (outer) layer contains the pigment melanin which protects your skin from the UV rays of the sun, however this can be burnt and cause painful/embarrassing results (as Jaime demonstrates below) and premature ageing of the skin. So if you think you’re lucky, it’s not really that simple. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not affecting you. This does not mean that I want you to switch from factor 6 to factor 50+, but being cautious of the sun is a benefit.

Above: Jaime’s impression burn-lines (featuring Kieran’s fitting reaction)

So now for all you paleys. The Brits are not a smart race and whenever the sun shows signs of peering through the depressing, dull clouds or rain you know it’s time to make the most of it: throw out the jumpers, get the BBQ, make the Pimms and prepare for the streams of photos on Facebook showing you the inventive tan lines people/your mates have created for you and images of extremely raw sun burns, that make you wince. It’s inevitable. But this can all be solved: SUN CREAM, CAPS and SHADE.

At RHS the sun does peculiar things to us. We feel praised for being sent the sun and that summer’s finally here and yet we continue to complain about it being too hot and sweaty, especially during exams. No where is good enough: the library feels like a sauna, the classrooms have the radiators on (which confuses us as they never seem to work when we need them during the winter) and after we complained about it being too cold, we won the battle and got double glazing, which now haunts us as the hot air seems to accumulate in our rooms resulting in equally restless nights. Of course the only place we want to be is outside. You sit in your classrooms gazing out onto the lush green fields and glistening river just wishing you could leave. The bell goes and finally your tanning time has come.

But the sun also brings to surface every single couple in the school; walks are suddenly revitalised and couples seem to dominate the sports fields and benches. The sea wall is a particular favourite for many and people find a new found love for running (well some), posting photos of the clock tower with blue skies and perfectly positioned birds over social media to let people know that there is an outside and that they are running. They should be congratulated I guess. But nevertheless it’s strange to think the sun draws out all these once dormant activities, activates more complaining and yet a prospect of hope: knowing that the term is nearly over and you get time off for 10 weeks. Enjoy the sun while it lasts (it’ll probably snow next week), enjoy the last few weeks at RHS, enjoy the activities it enables and enjoy laughing at people’s burns.

Leave a Reply