There comes a strange time in every Penn State student’s life, a week in the middle of spring semester when classes are canceled and we have more free time than you know what to do with. For some, this means seedy hotels in the Caribbean and frivolously taking advantage of the lowered drinking age. For others, it means a week at home with mom and dad. In a perfect world, being home would include nothing more than extravagant home-cooked meals, naps, and loads of Netflix. But unfortunately, you’ll have to leave the house at some point. This only leads to the most dreadful thing that could ever happen – running into people you sort of knew in high school.
Coming from a townie who does this daily, I can assure you that there are many different ways to dodge those geeks and freaks you used to call your classmates.
Avoid Places You Went to in High School
For starters, you should keep a three-mile radius between you and any place you used to hang out at. This includes, but is not limited to, coffee shops, restaurants, malls, gyms, parks, grocery stores, and what have you. And for the love of God, stay away from big parties. Take it from someone who spent Christmas break partying with the same nine people for a month straight. It will not end well. Besides, it won’t kill you to drive a little out of the way, especially because you’ll need any excuse not to work on that research paper you put off to do over break.
If it is absolutely necessary for you to enter the danger zone, be prepared to leave your manners behind. Let’s say for example you’re at the gym (at a super obscure time because you’re smart enough not to go during the rush) and by some grace of the devil himself, the awkwardly loquacious kid from 11th grade [insert AP class here]walks through the door. Remove yourself from the situation ASAP. Stay as far away as the walls around you will allow. They say if you don’t startle them, they won’t attack. Wrap up whatever you’re doing and relocate immediately. And by relocate, I mean to a different side of town.
Avoid Eye Contact at All Costs
This is where a dark pair of sunglasses could really come in handy. Those things are like social shields, also doubling to get you into the Spring Break spirit. Close your eyes if you have to.
Well, the worst has happened. You have been spotted. You are the dartboard and your classmate is the dart and they are coming in red-hot. After you get the polite small talk out of the way, you need to think of any reason to get out of there. Doctor’s appointment, a date with a guy you met on Tinder last break, mom needs groceries pronto, need to wax your eyebrows, have to change the cat litter… The more absurd, the more apparent (hopefully) it will be that you want to end the awkward conversation happening between you. You must be persistent.
Try New Things
One good thing that could come from hiding, however, is visiting new places in or around your town that you never even knew existed. You could probably still bet on running into someone you know, but at least you got some new experiences from it. Try a new pizza place or take a new route through town. Even just taking a walk instead of driving would suffice.
Really, honestly… Staying home for the entire break is the only fool-proof way to completely avoid everyone from your high school. Eat some snacks, get drunk with your family, and watch a ton of Netflix. Sure, you could be in Cancun, but what’s better than a constant food baby and not having to deal with ANGEL for a whole week?