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How to Deal With Hometown Run-ins Over Break: A Helpful Guide

Obviously when you go home for break, all you want to do is relax. It can be difficult to remain in a calm state of mind when half of you is constantly on edge about something that shouldn’t be so problematic— like picking up dinner from your local Chipotle. It can seriously be nerve-racking. What if you see the girl who gave you constant side-eye in Calculus? Are you supposed to say hi? If you do say “hi”, then you’re admitting that you remember her, when she clearly doesn’t care about you. If you don’t, then you’ve both just clearly seen each other and promptly ignored the other person’s entire existence which is even more awkward on a whole other level. What if the mom of a casual friend from high school sneaks up behind you while in line? Then suddenly you’re explaining the complexities of your college major to someone who will politely smile, calling your decision “a bold choice” and then judge you later. What happens if the person scooping corn salsa into your burrito is, god forbid, the ex that broke your heart freshman year when he asked out your best friend right after he said he liked you? Just avoid Chipotle in general. The only foolproof way to avoid the many forms of embarrassment that come along with seeing the people who made your teenage years unbearable is to just not run in to them. This is preferable but not fully possible unless you shut yourself inside of your parent’s house for the entirety of spring break. In the proper conditions, however, maintaining a calm exterior in the presence of people you never want to speak to again can be manageable.

Avoid local spots

You know the places in your hometown that everyone hangs out at. Chipotle and the mall are like catnip to ex-high school football stars. Certain places are safe, like restaurants only frequented by the elderly and movie theaters in the neighboring city. Always be wary, even when shopping at the drugstore because that’s when your local soundcloud rapper is bound to sneak up on you. If there’s even a small chance that you could run into somebody, it’s best to save yourself the trouble and go somewhere else.

Be confident

Looking the best you possibly can is a given. It doesn’t matter if you’re in sweatpants. If you feel like you’re invincible, it will show. Remember, as iconic fashion journalist, Diana Vreeland once said: “It’s not about the dress you wear, but it’s about the life you lead in the dress.” Don’t shyly look away if you happen to bump into someone you’d rather not see. Hold your head high and give them an all-knowing look. You want to show that you’re the one in control. Seeing them doesn’t bother you in the slightest because they’re in the past.

Use accessories to your advantage

Get your oversize hoodie and “don’t look at me, i’m famous” sunglasses ready. You might be able to escape the “don’t I know you from somewhere?” look if you appear unrecognizable in public. This means putting your hair up in a bun, wearing loose clothing and covering your head with sunglasses and a beanie. There’s no way for them to be sure that that’s you buying six packs of ramen noodles at midnight.

Always go places with a friend

If you must go to the aforementioned places, make sure that you at least aren’t alone. It’s easy to deflect the stares of ex-classmates when you have someone to distract you. Bring your roommate or best friend from school back home with you so you don’t have to face the wrath of your hometown alone. When all else fails, just laugh. Literally laugh out loud together. No one looks stupid when they’re having a good time.

 

Juliet Norman

Emerson '22

Juliet is a Freshman Journalism major from South Florida. When she's not writing you can find her eating strawberries or reading a Jane Austen novel.
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