…And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again!
(This post is best read in an English or Australian accent…Or, the voice of Morgan Freeman)
Similar to the migration patterns of birds to warmer areas during the winter solstice, it is one of nature’s mysterious occurrences that happens each year: college students return home for winter break.
The spectacle begins as we slam our heads against the shelves of books in the library and curse the world for our failure to study until the night before the exam.
“WHY CAN’T IT BE WINTER BREAK ALREADY!?” we repeatedly shout together in a war cry that reinforces our solidarity against schoolwork. Our fists clench in a psychotic fury resulting from the 18+ hours spent in florescent lighting and caffeine-induced crazy.
Then, miraculously all of our previous anguish is instantly obliterated. Finals finish, we prance around like blissful elves the day after Christmas, and race home to get to all of the INCREDIBLY important plans we have for winter break (i.e. sitting on the couch). Very peculiar specimens, we are.
This pure happiness lasts for about two days, and then the realization of how boring it is to sit at home all day sets in, and we crave to go back to school. Isn’t that ironic…
Yes, the college student is indeed a fascinating species. We have a complex combination of eagerness to learn mixed with inescapable laziness. An utterly confusing hybrid of pretending we’re mature adults, yet still acting like children.
So, for all of you scientists out there dying to study the nature of undergraduates everywhere, I’ll make it easy for you. From here on out, I shall refer to us as The Lazy College Student (LCS). The following is a lifestyle study on how we spend our winter break:
While some groan at the thought of leaving our independent lifestyles and begrudgingly return to living with our parents, I welcome this opportunity with open arms. Although coping with the frequent parental nagging of “PUT AWAY YOUR DISHES” and “HOW CAN YOU LIVE IN THIS PIG-STY OF A ROOM” is arguably the most difficult feat of surviving winter break, living at home also translates to everything is free.
Free movies. Free laundry. And best of all, FREE FOOD! As a result, the LCS spends its winter break leeching. We feed off of the completely stocked pantry supply. We drive our family vehicles so that we don’t use our own gas. We suck the life out of your wallets under the guise of family bonding. The LCS will do sick, twisted things if it means free stuff is a looming possibility.
Leeching then evolves into the phenomenon known as “third-wheeling”. As a result of our inability to resist free things combined with our exponential boredom, the LCS will frequently invite themselves everywhere. Even if you were planning on a quiet evening alone, this will not phase the LCS, as they are programmed to think that their plans are automatically more important than yours.
Usually, this third-wheeling takes form in “suggesting” family activities. Beware: “suggesting” is merely a pseudonym for “free activities for the LCS” (refer to Leeching). The social suicide of being seen with your parents in a public place is a small price to pay for what would have been a $14 movie experience (but you got it for free since you tagged along with your parents…muahaha!). Mom and Dad are eating at a fancy-schmancy restaurant for dinner? Don’t mind if I do…
For the lucky few, winter break means extra seasonal hours at previous workplaces. It means holiday parties where parents are desperate to find those last minute babysitters. A common trait of the LCS is that we are always cash-hungry. What other age group asks for strictly gift cards or money during the holiday season? Similar to our leeching abilities, typically the LCS will do almost anything for payment. Use this to your benefit, older generations.
Depending on the varying level of extroversion, “catching up” can have many different definitions amongst the LCS. For some, it means catching up with old friends, and rekindling those forgotten relationships. For myself, it means catching up on 14 days of uneaten advent calendar chocolate and spending hours watching TV shows that deplete all forms of previous academia from my brain. Bring it on, Kardashians.
Like most marsupials, the LCS is also dependent on hibernation throughout the winter season. It is not suggested to wake them during resting periods, as it may result in a dangerously dramatic tantrum. If you value your life, allow them to press the snooze button.
After becoming restless from our rough lives of waking up after twelve, watching TV all day, and occasionally getting up to eat (god forbid exercise or natural lighting), we ultimately decide we need a vacation from these hardships. The LCS will get together with a group of friends and decide on a whim that it will be a good idea to road trip for 13 hours and somehow fit 30 people in a room designed for 6. This will all be fine and dandy, until we reach the unfortunate realization that vacations without our parents means we have to pay for everything ourselves (refer back to leeching). Ahh, financial dependency. It ruins everything.
Spending an Ungodly Amount of Time On the Computer
Our increased amount of free time combined with an innate necessity to know what our friends are doing at all times (this common disease is also known as F.O.M.O — “Fear of Missing Out”) results in the LCS spending a ridiculous amount of time on the computer. If there is a Facebook status to be updated, we will update it. If there is a tweet to be sent, we will tweet it. If there is a cat video to be watched, we will watch it. Fear not, social media moguls — we shall keep you in business forever with our important conversations of:
“What are you doing?” // “Nothing, what about you?” // “Same here.”
Not Being Productive
All of these characteristics lead us into our final phase of the LCS during winter break: counter-productivity.
“I’m going to start working on my porfolio”
“I’ll start my job hunt for after graduation”
“I’ll get my Christmas shopping done early this year”
“I really am going to clean my room”
Nope. These are all just broken promises that we make to trick ourselves into thinking we could be productive when in reality, we can barely manage to get out of bed before 2pm. There are just sooo many other things we would rather be doing — like spending hours on the computer, feeding off of our parents food supply, or watching reality TV shows. As hard as we try, we fall victim to wasting our time and doing absolutely nothing.
Yes, in conclusion, winter break for the LCS really just means we are an overall waste to society for three to four weeks. It is an eternal battle with the endless cycle of pure laziness. Until our winter break woes are fulfilled, parents may look forward to the LCS’s lack of any contribution to a meaningful life. Enjoy yourselves — it’s going to be a looong few weeks.