Finals are over, that feeling of holiday magic is in the air, and Eagles have left the Boston College nest to return home eager to see friends and family. Naturally, as with any social setting, there are some people that no one looks forward to seeing when they return home. Coming home to the town you grew up in means seeing all of the people you grew with, or have now outgrown. Not to worry, the awkwardness that inevitably awaits you is universal to all of us. Here are 10 uncomfortable encounters you can be sure to expect:
1. The Elephant in the room:
Maybe you’ve gained weight, changed your hair on a Saturday when you were feeling a bit too infinite, or everyone at the table received a voicemail they shouldn’t have. You and your family all know about something super awkward that happened during this semester and now you’re all just going to pretend it didn’t happen in an effort to help you readjust to being home. Just wait till the champagne comes out New Year’s Eve, and people start discussing what they want to improve for next year.
2. The ex boyfriend/girlfriend that you tried to do long distance with:
But really, now what? Do you see him or her? Are you obligated to send the, “Hey, I’m home,” text? Are you expecting things to go back to how they were? We’re not really sure if you’re supposed to awkwardly avoid the person you used to spend all your free time with, or if you even can—plus, now it’s time to consider if your mutual friends are still considered mutual or have they become kids in a messy divorce between you and your ex? Time to skillfully coordinate who gets them each weekend.
3. The Neighbors who are overly invested in your life from what your parents tell them:
They know your major, roommate’s name, and how your football team’s doing, and you know he’s Rick and she’s Mary…or is it Marie? Do they actually have kids? While they hound you with a million questions about finals and plans for next semester, you frantically try to remember what grade their kids are in (they do exist, right?) to have something to ask about. Note to self: choose what time you take the trash out to the curb wisely to avoid an overly friendly and forced encounter.
4. The high school best friend you lost contact with:
You’re both home. Now what? Are you obligated to see each other? It’s not that you fought, or stopped caring, it’s just that distance is hard (see #2) and you had more people to talk to face to face than time you had to send texts. Someone should probably take the first step and reach out, but is that on you or them? Awk.
5. The lab partner you’ve had chemistry with for 4 years:
And the only person who finds your puns endearing. Now that you’re both in college, you’re mature and…changed. Maybe things can happen. Maybe it will work out now that you’ve found yourselves…right? I mean, even if you make a move and it backfires it’s not like you’ll have to sit in class with them for another seven periods all semester. Go for it?
6. Running into a high school classmate while at a convenience store:
This is uncomfortable on all levels. Not only have you not prepared to see people you know by looking your best or adapting the right mindset, but now it’s a debate on whether to avoid the aisle they’re in or to make the typical, “So how’s college” small-talk. Chances are this one is like a Band-Aid: it has to come off eventually, so just rip that sucker off and say hello.
7. That girl you never liked who’s now friends with your friends:
You only have three weeks to socialize, so you have to deal with this. There’s not enough time to turn down hanging out with the friends you’ve missed. Be the mature young adult you are and put that smile on.
8. All the doctors appointments your mother made:
Parents worry about our life choices in college. Now that we’re back in the nest, they feel a call of duty to make sure we’re in good shape and healthy. Enjoy seeing your life-long pediatrician and sitting with crying toddlers in the waiting room, your creepy dentist, and hey, now that you’re an “adult,” you probably have appointments made at specialists, so enjoy those, too.
9. Deciding how many nights you’re obligated to spend at the dinner table vs. how many you’re obligated to spend in your best friend’s basement:
Let’s be real. They’ve all missed you. But family first? Or relive the glory days? We wish someone made an equation to figure out how to divide your time appropriately. According to my parents at least, if they’re paying your tuition, your educated butt is expected at the table. Then again, the ratio of people who have advised and saved you through the years also matters, and you probably owe your best friend a lot. Choose wisely, friends.
10. Christmas presents:
Who are you buying for? Are you supposed to talk about if you’re exchanging gifts first? So does everyone get a Boston College T-shirt? Is that a thing? Do you scramble to shop for everyone in three days? Is this holiday meant to be stressful?
When in doubt of what to give, how to avoid, or in need of a necessary stress-reliever, keep in mind your friends at the Gavel are ready with distractions and remedies-- and only one click away. Good luck this break, and remember, you’ll be back at BC soon enough!Photos courtesy of Flickr/channaher.