The ten phases of a Tulane winter break

Featuring phase five: My family is racist?

Phase One: Relief

Finals are over, you’re finally going home. Maybe it’s even cold where you live. You’re so excited to see your dog and your family you can hardly stand it. You’ve been dreaming about your bed and your shower for weeks. If you were late to leave you’ve basically been alone in your dorm for three days, just thinking about this moment. It lasts for about fifteen minutes after you get into the car at the airport.

Phase Two: Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all

You’ve been in the car for fifteen minutes and your parents are already fighting about which exit gets home faster and your sister has made no less than three comments about your outfit. You’re starting to realize how truly freaking cold it is in not Louisiana, and your mom forgot to bring your coat to the airport. You’re getting group selfies from the friends who haven’t gone home yet and the FOMO is real. You start getting serious Tulane feels.

Phase Three: Dog

Oh my god. He was just as perfect as you remembered. When he jumped on you as you came in it felt like being reunited with your soulmate. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all, if you get to snuggle with this little angel for a whole month.

Phase Four: Friends

Your high school friends reunite for the first night of break. All is right with the world. Maybe you’ll all get tired of each other later on in the month and realize that perhaps a lot of your friendships were based on proximity, or maybe not; but for now you’re just so happy to be together. You’ve probably all developed a new level of alcohol tolerance and the night gets started awkwardly catching up about hook ups and finals and morphs into drunkenly laughing about that time so and so got so fucked up after prom that they peed themselves in a chair at the afterparty. There will probably be some hookups that have been waiting to happen for like four years and are helped along by alcohol and the excitement of reuniting. Overall, its a great phase and such a relief to be around people who already know everything about you.

Phase Five: My family is racist?

Going to college does a lot of things; including forcing you to get PC fast. When you come home and your grandparents are talking about how they’re unsure about why the Confederate flag is such a big deal and how they don’t really think that the Dutch tradition of having Santa’s literal slave portrayed in black face is an issue you will have to ask yourself a very important question. “Are they more racist, or am I more aware?” Most likely you are more aware. This is a confusing time.

Phase Six: Christmas

“How’s school?” x150. You say fine and elaborate just enough to get past whoever was asking, to the cake. Also, it turns out that you are now considered an adult and no one is worried about giving you fun gifts. You get a couple of Barnes & Noble gift cards for textbooks and also some socks.

Phase Seven: New Years

You cant help but imagine how lit this would be at school; and not in your friend’s dad’s basement surrounded by ten people you’ve known since you were five, drinking bottles of Champagne you literally smuggled from upstairs. You kiss no one at midnight for fear of general awkwardness and hang out with your friend’s dog for most of the night. Someone is inevitably complaining the whole time about how lit this would be at school and you don’t have the heart to tell them that everyone is aware and your school is way more fun than their school. Inevitably some girl who is casually still thirteen emotionally will suggest spin-the-bottle and everything goes downhill from there.

Phase Eight: Boredom

You’re hanging out with your high school friends more than you did in high school, you’ve re-binged eight seasons of friends, the Tulane group chat is not lit. As fights break out between your high school friends and your mother stops treating you as though you are the guest of honor classes start sounding pretty good. You realize that college is a weird time when you are completely free for 80% of the year, and the other 20% you still have a curfew and someone could potentially take away your phone if they wanted to. You’re pretty sure you’re going to start developing bed sores if you lay on the couch anymore.

Phase Nine: Panic

You’re about to go back, wait, wait, you’re not ready. You’re going to miss your family and friends and dog and laying around all day everyday. You’re going to have to confront that complicated boy situation you’ve been avoiding since school ended. Homework. Oh God, homework. You start packing, your mom gets sad and starts being nice to you again. You hold your dog tighter than ever before until he leaves you because you’re too needy.

Phase Ten: Return

You’re sad on the plane, realizing that your sister is totally going to take your room back and your dog probably isn’t even upset, but the moment you walk into your dorm and reunite with your friends everything is okay. You didn’t realize quite how cool it is that you live 100 feet from everyone you hang out with. Your schedule is totally messed up but what’s a couple of eight ams when you have a squad like this? You’re alright with coming back, spring break is soon enough. Things are good.

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