Fall Break Survival Guide


Fall break – exciting for some, boring for others, cardiac arrest-inducing for most. While you're busy stuffing your face with the mediocre food your mom managed to scrape up at the last minute, there's probably a lot going on. You're seeing awkward relatives you'd rather avoid, your mom is bugging you about the classes you're taking, friends from home have gotten increasingly strange since they went to college, and you probably just want to crawl under the covers of your racecar bed and cry yourself to sleep. Here are a few tips to avoid mental breakdown.

Go for the mashed potatoes: When you face any problem in life, mashed potatoes are usually a good solution. They're the best comfort food on the planet this side of ice cream. They're mushy, salty, and perfect for slamming your face into out of frustration. If you feel like you're on the verge of a complete freak-out, just run over to the giant bowl of potatoes and sink your face into it, breathing in that carbohydrated goodness.

Keep it short: Mom asks about class? Give her one-word answers. For example: “How are you liking that Psychology 101 course you're taking, sweetheart?” You respond “Cats.” She will then laugh uncertainly. “What did you say?” And you will reply “Garbage.” If you continue to throw out a random assortment of words each time she inquires, she will eventually give up and let you eat in peace. She may question your sanity, but that's always been a problem anyway.

Flip the script: As you encounter the relatives you’re forced to associate with three or four times a year, they’ll want to see how you’re doing. This is normal, sure, but also very annoying. When Aunt Barb asks about your college love life, quickly give her a response, followed with, “How about you? How is your tired, inconsequential life going?” She’ll happily blather on for minutes at a time about Joey’s academics and Tara’s burgeoning meth addiction while you slowly slip into a spacey state of head nods and “uh huhs.” Hey, it sure beats trying, and she won’t know the difference.

Elaborate excuses: These are for those weird friends from high school. Yeah, you know which ones we’re talking about. That girl who wouldn't even show cleavage in high school but now she'll spread her legs to oncoming traffic? That guy who always wore ill-fitting khakis and tiny polo shirts who is now a raging meth addict? Keeping interaction with them at a minimum is a good idea. So make sure that when they ask you to hang out, you give them an excuse that will BLOW THEIR MINDS. For example, if they send you a text asking if you want to go grab lunch, you say something like this: “Yeah, so I actually have this weird condition now where if I eat anything with an ingredient that has ever touched water I'll actually break out in hives. And then I’ll reek of acorns, which is very appealing to all the local squirrels. Doctor says they’re likely to flock to my body and proceed to eat me alive, bones included. I mean I wouldn't want to put you at risk.” At that point, if they still want to hang out with you they're probably more fucked up than you thought, and you should just hide.

Fall break is way too short to actually enjoy, but just long enough to induce a whole host of awkward situations. Make sure this year you brace yourself for the inevitable predicaments. When you're at your worst moment, keep in mind that it's all about the food.


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