Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: How to Survive until School Starts
You know when you’re on a run, and you’ve been going for a pretty long time, and your runner’s high has kicked in, and you’re on top of the world, but suddenly all your friends from home stop running alongside you, and they leave you and post pictures on Facebook of them having an awesome time in college with your replacements, and you’re alone, and the last mile is too much to bear, and you want to give up but then you look down to see you’re not even running because your legs are actually two rotting corn cobs, and then you wake up and realize you’re just in your bed in a pool of cold sweat?
If so, then you’ve experienced that final stretch of summer (and should probably stop taking Ambien).
With just a little over a month until Welcome Week begins, many of us who are stuck at home will begin to feel the slowly growing void our friends have left for us. It’s especially rough for new students. You’re left alone to count down the days till you leave home and go to your mind’s abstract concept of ‘college.’ That’s scary stuff! So it’s okay if you’re nervous. Trust me, you’re not the only one.
Of course the wait is worth it. Once you’re in school, you forget about the agony of summer’s loneliness. But in the meantime here are some tested and approved ways of coping.
1. Ma and Pa
Unfortunately as your friends trickle out, your Mom and Dad start to look like appealing hangout prospects. Don’t get me wrong, in some ways this can be great. You can see many a summer blockbuster on their dime, and as they dread the day you leave they treat you like the sacred cow you were born to be.
But naturally there are downsides. Once they become your new inner circle, when they’re too busy to do shit, you’re actually resentful and bummed out about it. Also, now you’re in their inner circle, and speaking from my own personal experience of parents with a nonexistent inner circle, you become their Vinny Chase. And you don’t want to see your mom like this:
2. Early to bed, never to rise
Going to work (or whatever it is you fill your day with) is good. You’re kept busy and aren’t really thinking about much. Plus you’d be stuck there even if all your friends were home anyway, so no complaints. The only problem is the amount of time you have to yourself once you’re home.
My response to this is sleep. Sleep eats time like a dude on bath salts eats faces. So once you’re home from work, eat some dinner, exchange pleasantries with the fam, and watch a little netty-flix. Around this time (roughly 8pm) you’ll feel the nagging pain of loneliness. So just pop in that retainer and never look back.
3. Fortress of Solitude
Your friends tell you to watch movies and TV shows incessantly, so oftentimes you choose not to listen to their recommendations out of spite. But now that they’re not around, you can watch whatever you want without giving anyone the satisfaction of being right (I’d rather DROWN than watch Orange is the New Black, Cameron). But now all of those suggestions have built up so you gotta knock them out before summer’s end. So convert your living room into a dark cave of pillows and blankets. Get a Costco membership and stock up on some family packs of Frito brand chips. Next, set up a queue of those “classics” that you can’t bring yourself to watch.
Once you’ve popped in Schindler’s List, turn your phone on loud JUST IN CASE someone texts you…even though we both know that won’t happen.
4. Eat your feelings
Summer’s great because of that “I don’t give a shit attitude.” You can do whatever you want, and more importantly EAT whatever you want.
Ice cream, s’mores, BBQ (not necessarily in that order) – It all feels so right in this mixed up world. But now you only have a month left of this blissful, carefree consumption before it’s on to a dining hall (which trust me, is a whole new animal). At school you’ll soon yearn for those home cooked meals. You’ll call out in the night for that questionable stir fry you used to get down the street, but is now a hazy memory.
So fill your time and emotional holes with delicious taco meat (et cetera) that isn’t served in Hinman or at Taco Bell. This food will comfort you in your time of need, when all hope is lost. Tell your parent or guardian how much you’ll miss their [insert favorite dish here], and you’ll soon find it on your plate that evening soaked in your mother’s tears. And hit up every favorite restaurant, hopefully with the financial aid of your parents, to taste that sweet, sweet expensive food that you won’t be able to afford in school. Savor each bite because it will be your LAST (until you come home for a break, or whatever).
5. Jack(ed), the Ripper
So you’ve eaten all the food you could in order to fill the gaps your friends left in your heart. That’s all well and good, but it may not be the “healthiest” choice (my bad). Also, “new school, new you” doesn’t mean look like the person who ate you. How can you continue this summer diet and take care of yourself? Get military-grade-swol*.
Exercise makes you happy and healthy, blah blah blah, but as an added bonus, going to the gym is a time killer. Think about it: You have to A) change into your gym clothes, B) drive, walk, bike, somehow transport yourself to the gym, C) do the actual exercising, D) drive, walk, bike, Segway, apparate home, E) take a long and luxurious shower, and F) collapse on the floor, gingerly grasping your aching extremities. That burden of time has magically disappeared! The summer will be over before you know it, and you’ll have that beach bod ready (for no one to see because it will be under a coat for the next 9 months).
*This section is not meant to body shame, what you do with your body is none of my business; this article is pure fluff. FLUFF I SAY.
So there ya have it: five ways to make you feel slightly saner, and to prevent you from scrawling angsty poetry under the cover of nightfall. Use any combination of these methods (which looking back seem like what to do if you’re bored on house arrest or coping with narcotic withdrawal) and you’ll be golden! Good luck with that final stretch, you wild cats.