The Five People You Meet on Winter Break

Winter break is a time to reunite with your home friends, laugh about old times, and catch each other up on what you’ve missed. As great as it is to see the ones you love, winter break can also be a time of awkward run-ins with ex-friends, ex-boyfriends, and people you figured you would never see after high school.

So as you finish up your finals, collegiettes, we present you with a forewarning of the five people you’re bound to meet on winter break.

The high school teacher: Remember when we all thought that teachers didn’t exist outside of school? That they slept under their desks, or were stored in the janitors’ closets awaiting the arrival of students? We wish it were true, but in our years we’ve come to realize that teachers are all too real. And some of them are townies, lurking in grocery stores waiting to pounce into awkward conversation about your achievements, how you don’t know where your life is going, and whether you still talk to that one girl from class (which you never really did…)

The ex: Despite your occasional Facebook stalking, he looks different…dare I say cuter? Fix your hair, collegiettes, because your ex is coming this way.

The friend of friend: She’s a mutual friend of a friend who went to the same high school and talks to the same people… but do you know her well enough to say hi out of the context of a party? Probably not, but be prepared for awkward silence scattered with small talk. We can already hear the phrase “We should hang out sometime” slipping out of our mouths.

The guy from high school that you never really talked to, but is suddenly so interested in talking: You might’ve had what, one class together? Maybe a mutual friend? But he might tell you that you’ve gotten better looking since high school and suggest getting together…walk away collegiettes, just walk away.

Past co-workers: If you previously worked in a local restaurant or store, it can be a little strange running in to grab takeout or whatever you need from the store (hopefully nothing embarrassing). Do you smile, strike up a conversation, or avoid all eye contact in general? The only thing you really ever talked about was work, and now you don’t work there, so now what?

Going home to see family and friends can steer you into the path of uncomfortable encounters. There’s no easy way to avoid them, so keep it quick, polite, and offer a smile in the least. It’s the holidays, after all!