By: Kenyatta Giddings ’13, University of Texas-Austin
It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but all those hours you spent social media creeping on the wonders of your world from your hometown are about to come to life. Living, breathing, high-pitched OMG-it’s-so-crazy-to-see-you-screaming, life. Don’t let a routine trip to the grocery store or a holiday shopping day at the mall turn into an impromptu high school reunion from hell. Instead prepare for who you may (if you’re from a small town, will) run into while you’re back home for the holidays.
Old High School Sweetheart
Although you promised each other forever at graduation, you ended it on your Thanksgiving break freshman year and surprisingly, they haven’t changed a bit. No, really. They haven’t changed at all, and it’s actually making you feel a little sorry for them. If you’re feeling nostalgic and reminiscing over junior proms and homecoming games, there’s no harm in having lunch together. Do not, however, have dinner with this person. Dinner means dim lighting, appearance altered by carefully picked clothing, and drinks of the alcoholic variety that may lead you to repeat the unfortunate actions of prom night.
The Teacher that Hated You
There’s always at least one school district employee that took their job way too seriously because seniors like you started slacking off once college acceptance letters started rolling in. They resent your ability to always make things work by hardly working, and have not forgotten what your face looks like. Remember that way too honest recommendation letter they voluntarily wrote “right after” you’d already sent in all of your application materials? Oh, darn. Just missed it. And that’s exactly what you do: just miss all interaction with this person, at all costs.
The Star-Crossed Cutest Couple
This one’s a two-parter in more ways than one. You’ll likely be seeing these once crazy in love kids separately. In fact, you had the privilege of watching their messy breakup/makeup/breakup-for-good play out in the form of passive aggressive status updates, so you know that they are never ever getting back together. While your high school instinct may move you to ask about their once other half, this former homecoming king and queen will be so busy selling their new and way improved life to you that you won’t have the chance to. The queen, by the way, may have produced heirs or have one on the way. No matter how many times she snickered at you behind her French manicure or pretended to be your friend the week before a test, only two words of advice can prepare you: Be kind.
Your Little Sister’s Bratty Friends
It’s bad enough that you had to see them talk about how “totally wasted” they got at the football game from sneaking in a Keystone, but now you have to hear them blasting “Clique” up and down the cul-de-sac every time they leave to go to the mall. When you run into them without your sister while doing last minute shopping they’re going to ask you about how awesome college is, and you’re going to have to give them an encouraging response without slipping in that you highly doubt they’ll ever graduate from an accredited campus. All you can really do is hope they all part ways after high school. Oh, and spend a little QT with baby sis. After a semester without you and with these girls, she needs it.
Your Old Friends
Seeing people while being back home isn’t all bad. Getting into a little trouble with your original crew at old (and new now that you’re finally 21) stomping grounds can be just the burst of familiarity that you need before heading into spring semester. So many of life’s details get lost in social media and text messaging, so you’re sure to have tons of new material to catch up on. Make sure to deliberately run into these people so you have someone to talk to about running into everyone else.