August is my least favorite month.

Until a few weeks ago, I’m not sure I had shared this opinion with anyone. But during a meeting, a friend/coworker expressed her antipathy for the month, and I said something like, “OMG! I hate August, too!”

Then, she and I proceeded to discuss why we abhor August. Granted, we didn’t get further than the oppressive heat, but even if that’s the only reason to hold a grudge against August, it’s enough. After all, when you’re already sweating before breakfast, you have just cause. Indeed, one recent August day, I perspired whilst sitting under a ceiling fan and with the air conditioning running. No thank you, August.

Regardless, I have other reasons to give the month side eye. During my formative years, I was forced to return to school every year during August. As I was not a fan of school, I guess this time of the year will always trigger unpleasant feelings and memories as well as the smell of paint. Why? Because the school rooms received fresh coats of paint during the summer. I’m getting a migraine just thinking about it.

After hearing from my friend/coworker, I wondered if others shared our negative views of August. I researched the matter and found a 2021 YouGov survey that asked respondents to select their favorite and least favorite months. According to their poll, August ranked as the third least favorite month, coming in behind only January and February.

Not every month can be October, which was selected as the favorite month, but I was surprised by August’s ranking. After all, it’s part of summer and I thought everyone but me loved summer.

Thus, I conducted more research and learned that, beyond the heat, people dislike August because of what it represents – the end. It’s the end of summer (splashing in the pool, grilling outdoors, working in the yard or garden), the end of freedom (going back to school), the end of longer days, etc. Endings usually give people a case of the sads, so maybe I’m not the only one triggered by unpleasant feelings and memories this time of year.

Of course, as I told my friend/coworker, August isn’t all bad. When the month’s oppressive heat and depressive endings give me a bad case of the sads, I remind myself that August means the NFL season can’t be far behind.

Hey, whatever gets me through the month.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.