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The worst part of fall term isn’t fighting move-in traffic in August, waiting 20 minutes for a beer during syllabus week, or even suffering through the year’s first concussion after a three-story tumble from the roof hours after winning the first homecoming in seven years. It’s not texting all 500 contacts in your phone to beg for Adderall in late November, emptying the test bank for a 15-page report on why cocaine should be legal, and it’s certainly not relearning 14 weeks worth of lecture notes in the week following Thanksgiving break. Not even close.
The worst part of every fall term is throwing a couple wrinkled polos, a PS4, and a half-empty bottle of Old Crow in a gym bag, cramming your ass onto a Greyhound, and heading home to your insufferable hometown.
Unless you’re one of those weirdos who wanted to commute to college in order to stay close to your dog (high school girlfriend), you embraced the opportunity to get porch drunk and skip class in a different town, far, far away from the kids who used to tease you for having a column in the school paper called “KrameR’s ЯemarKs” and being voted most likely cry after the theater club’s shoddy rendition of The Suessical. Needless to say, we’ve all come a long way.
As your college town, the eye candy, dive bars, and drunk stops fade from view, those former classmates you’ve been mocking on social media for failing out of community, getting fat, and knocking up the girl who rejected your clever prom proposal because she’d “rather suck the chrome off of an exhaust pipe than be seen with you” await you in the cancerous township you put in the rearview. Prepare yourself for three to six weeks of waking up on an air mattress in your parents’ office since your room has already been converted into a studio for your younger sister’s P90X routines.
Now that there’s no more studying to put off, newly-initiated sisters to try your hand with, or intramural matches to get thrown out of for shouting that you can buy and sell every referee on campus after fouling out, your options are narrowed to just drinking and being drunk. If your dad’s credit card limit permits, the bar is the best alternative to spending the long break with your intolerable family — until you realize hometown bars don’t hold a candle to on-campus bars. Packs of rowdy, questionably-aged undergrads celebrating yet another quality 7-5 season are replaced by throngs of Carhartt jackets, flat-billed hats, and untied Timbs drinking well liquor and making passes at the chunky, single mom-laden wait staff.
Your next option is drinking at your hometown friends’ houses — it’s a lot cheaper than getting sloshed at Applebees among people you loathe. You’re getting drunk with people you forgot you loathed. There’s something to be said about catching up with some old chaps over a game of Monopoly. Just kidding. I’d rather take a seven-hour hungover trip to Baltimore in the back seat of a Prius, listening to an anthology of Creed’s greatest hits. When all else fails, there’s always the opportunity to drink alone, playing NCAA Football 2012, which is only a degree less depressing than being sober. Or explaining to your grandma what venereal disease is and why your neck resembles the shaft of cheetah’s tube steak.
Being home for winter break sucks. The food may be slightly better, but even a bottomless supply of rum balls and those cookies with the Reece’s peanut butter cup in the middle doesn’t compare to the thrill of lying your way into an engineering major’s pants, or drinking apple schnapps until you throw up off the balcony, all over your foreign neighbor’s BMW. But, for all of the sober afternoons stringing lights and uncomfortable conversations with younger siblings, revel in the few opportunities you’re afforded to embellish to your uncles and grandpas your stories of depravity while you try to explain away your C- average to Mom..