If you didn’t already think time was a social construct, the last six months have probably changed your mind. The movie you said you watched last weekend? That was two months ago. And the tweet you thought you saw last week? It was posted today. Since we’re all online literally all day and have nothing better to do than run a new meme into the ground hours after it’s created, new trends come and go faster than ever before. While the banana bread and sourdough baking phase is probably seared so permanently into your memory that you’ll be telling your grandkids about it when they ask about 2020, there are probably a few trends and moments that have already been erased.
The Carrot Challenge
Approximately two days into quarantine, everyone was apparently already so bored that they resorted to an Instagram challenge where they tagged their friends to draw a carrot on their story. It is truly remarkable to look back at this moment in time and realize how naïve we were that we could have possibly thought that was the worst it was going to get.
This feels like something from an entirely different time, back when there was still hope (aka mid March). Thanks to one of the first TikTok trends to pop up in quarantine, people everywhere were using the 20 minutes that they’d usually spend commuting to the office to whisk coffee into a froth. Given that I haven’t heard anything about this in a few months, it seems like people have now realized that time is better spent sleeping in.
this quarantine is really testing the limits of what photos make the cut for a throwback post on instagram
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) May 8, 2020
Another long-forgotten trend is the “Until Tomorrow” era, a time when you couldn’t open Instagram without seeing a feed full of embarrassing photos, bad selfies, and baby pictures (that would be taken down the next day to avoid total humiliation). Personally I think taking your photo down is a weak move, since true Instagram baddies have had embarrassing photos up since 2010 and never took them down no matter how bad (and over-filtered) they were.
“First Photo” Challenge
As I’m sure all the other single people quarantining alone would agree, this challenge felt like a personal attack. Seriously, couples posting their first pics together? Like, did I ask for every other Insta story to remind me that I’ll be riding out a pandemic alone and getting dressed up for FaceTime dates for the foreseeable future?
Remember that week (or was it a month? Who knows) where you got a notification every five minutes that someone was going live on Instagram? Including the girls from high school “running their own businesses” showing you how to use their essential oils? My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who accidentally joined someone’s live where there were only two other people watching. Leaving one of those is almost as uncomfortable as the split second of eye-contact you make with your boss every time you exit a Zoom meeting.
“See 10, do 10?” Yeah, I’m good thanks. I haven’t done a push-up since I was forced to for the fitness test in elementary school, and I won’t be picking those back up because someone tagged me in an Instagram story.
The memory of Tiger King feels like a fever dream. Like, we were really so desperate for entertainment at that point that we just ate that sh*t up and said “NEXT, PLEASE.” It’s kind of incredible that we got desensitized to the absurdity of every single event that happened in that series so quickly. But given how f*cked up everything has become since then, it was good preparation for coping with the rest of the year.
Zoom Happy Hours
if you're still scheduling 14 zoom happy hours every weekend you can chill, we all just want to sleep
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) April 24, 2020
Realizing that having a Zoom happy hour every night of the week does not make up for real-life interaction was a breakthrough that took longer than it should have. Playing drinking games at home is fun when you have somewhere to go afterward, not when you’ll just be sitting in your childhood bedroom, totally wasted, after you shut your laptop.
The “One New Thing A Day” Phase
I’ve been thinking a lot about the people who started quarantine by saying “I’ll be making one new cocktail a day!” or “Every day I’m going to make one new piece of art!” Where’d they go? Last I heard from them it was day 14 I think. Are they okay?
Instagram challenges and TikTok trends will come and go, but you know what will never go out of style? Wearing a f*cking mask.
Images: Mollie Sivaram / Unsplash; bigkidproblems / Instagram; betchesluvthis / Twitter
Even before coronavirus was the only thing we had to talk about, everyone’s dating app profiles were already pretty much the exact same. On any given profile, you’d be guaranteed to see a line about The Office, loving margaritas, or asking your opinion about pineapple on pizza. But the lack of originality is even worse than usual. We may all be living the exact same lives right now, but that doesn’t mean we need to be making the same jokes about toilet paper, how we don’t know what day it is, or if we’ll ever leave our homes again. We all get enough of that coronavirus small talk on our Zoom meetings with our bosses. Here are all the quarantine dating app opening lines, bios, and prompt answers that no one ever wants to hear again.
“This year, I really want to…leave my apartment”
All this does is remind me that I had to cancel all of my summer trips and will instead be getting drunk on White Claws all by myself and inflating a mini pool in my living room just to feel something.
“Need some toilet paper?”
Not sure about everyone else, but I don’t know a single person who has had trouble finding toilet paper in the last two months. The toilet paper jokes should have ended in March, just like any hope we had of having a real summer.
“Can’t wait to hang out after quarantine”
The optimism here is nice, but given all the people playing the game of “how many drunk people can we cram into this public pool” in states outside of New York and California, it’s looking like quarantine is literally never going to end. You’re better off acknowledging that we’re all probably going to be FaceTime dating until it’s time for our Zoom weddings in 2023.
“On day __ of quarantine…”
Just like every major event planned for 2020, jokes about wearing sweatpants every day, having conversations with your cat, and not remembering what day it is have been canceled. Once my Boomer parents start making jokes about it, that means it’s officially time for the joke to retire (to Facebook, where your relatives share memes from six months ago).
“Ideal night out…going outside”
“F*ck, am I ever going to go to a crowded bar and pay for overpriced drinks and forget my purse in the bathroom because ‘Mr. Brightside’ came on and I needed to go scream-sing it with my friends ever again?” That’s what this response makes me think of. Not exactly “swipe right” material.
“First round is on me if…Rona ever ends”
Then odds are, there won’t ever be a “first round.” Maybe you wrote this back in March when you thought the world would go into lockdown for a few weeks and then everything would go back to normal. In that case, maybe it’s time for an update.
“I’d break quarantine for you.”
Hmmm…. Pretty sure if you’re breaking quarantine for me, you’re also probably breaking it for every other girl you talk to. It may feel like it’s been 84 years since I’ve felt a human’s touch, but I’d still rather ride out the rest of the hellscape that is 2020 alone than get coronavirus from a guy whose entire profile consists of mirror selfies.
Puns are never effective even when the world isn’t living out an episode of Black Mirror. And maybe we’re lowering our standards a little bit right now (I’d swipe right on a Goldfish cracker if it meant I could talk to it), but not enough for me to change my mind about immediately unmatching with anyone who uses puns.
“If coronavirus doesn’t take you out, can I?”
IDK if you’ve read the news lately, but 100,000 people have died. And if that isn’t enough to convince you that this is a super f*cking insensitive thing to say, consider that eventually you will probably end up sending it to someone who has lost someone to Covid.
“I love The Office!”
Because apparently, even in a global pandemic where we’ve all got nothing but time to stream new content, people still think being obsessed with a seven-year-old TV show is a personality trait.
Not only are none of these even that funny, they’re also just a really f*cking boring way to start a conversation. Like, do you really want to talk about your quarantine routine with every person you match with? It seems like maybe we should all make a resolution to fix our dating app game before this is all over.
Images: Samantha Gades / Unsplash; Maddie Dean (9)
We’ve all got a lot of time on our hands right now to ponder life’s greatest questions, like “how long can I go without washing my hair?” and “am I only going to hang out with people through Zoom for the rest of my life?” But there’s one major question that’s been on all of our minds: “how would the characters of Friends handle quarantine?” And as someone who started watching Friends at six years old (was I way too young to be watching it? Yes. Did it make me feel 1,000 times superior to all the other first-graders? Absolutely yes), I feel particularly qualified to carry out this task.
For the sake of a consistent timeline, we’ll assume they go into quarantine sometime around season 6, after Monica and Chandler have moved in together and Ross is living in the apartment across the street from them, and we’ll also assume that they’ve decided to all quarantine together. But also, if the timeline doesn’t 100% line up let’s just all try to remain calm. This is an imagining of a TV show that ended 16 years ago, so maybe just have a glass of wine and keep that in perspective.
Rachel started dating a guy right before everyone went into quarantine and is freaking out that he hasn’t called her yet. She insists on keeping the phone line open at all times in case he calls, and to distract herself she has started trying on all of her clothes and asking everyone what she should get rid of (correct answer: nothing, Rachel Green is a fashion icon). After realizing she has such great taste, she’s decided she should start a fashion blog.
Phoebe has been reliably informed by her psychic that one of the Friends has coronavirus. In order to figure out who has it, she’s trying to read everyone’s auras because, according to her, that’s as good as an actual test. She’s also lighting an absurd amount of incense (it’s “healing”), putting crystals in every room, and writing songs about literally everything everyone is doing, and it’s driving them all absolutely insane.
Naturally, Joey is eating through all of the quarantine food like it’s Thanksgiving dinner and he’s got his eating pants on. And as we all know, Joey doesn’t share food, so this is kind of a big problem. He’s also always trying to break quarantine to go meet up with a girl, but because no one will let him, he’s instead trying to flirt with girls he can see in the building across from them or on the street through the window. To no one’s surprise, he’s so successful he has a new girlfriend every week.
Ross is the only one who didn’t make it to Monica’s apartment in time for quarantine, and as Monica’s already got the place on full lockdown, she’s refusing to let him in. Whenever he tries to call them, Rachel immediately hangs up the phone in case her date calls, so his only option is to try to communicate with them through their window.
Chandler only has two coping mechanisms: sarcasm and smoking. While his sarcasm is certainly no secret, the fact that he’s started smoking again definitely is. He keeps making trips to the hallway and the balcony for a smoke break but is ultimately caught because like, the smell, duh. Could he be any more obvious?
A global pandemic is Monica’s worst nightmare because it’s not something she has any control over. So obviously, she’s making everyone to wash their hands every hour on the hour and trying to clean the apartment 24/7. The only problem? Joey got rid of most of their cleaning supplies to make room for more quarantine food, and she already ordered Amazon’s entire stock of cleaning supplies. So instead, she’s baking constantly to relieve stress. She started the banana bread trend.
Devastated by the fact that he likely won’t see Rachel again for months, he’s started writing fan fiction about how she will eventually fall in love with him (as if he wasn’t already doing that).
Janice decides to serenade her neighbors from her balcony and ends up having dozens of noise complaints filed against her because of her voice.
Images: Giphy; Paul Smith / Featureflash via Shutterstock.com
So now that we’ve all been in isolation for a few weeks, we’ve pretty much lost our f*cking minds. Which means people are starting to do a lot of weird sh*t that usually we would not tolerate for one second, but under the circumstances, is now considered normal. It might be totally fine for literally everyone to post their homemade banana bread on their Instagram story, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested in seeing every step of your morning routine. Enough is enough—here’s all the sh*t you’ve got to stop doing during quarantine.
Going Live On Instagram
I’m not sure how so many people got the confidence to go live on Instagram so often, but I really wish they hadn’t. What could you possibly have to talk about that is so interesting that I deserve to get a dozen notifications telling me you’re going live? We’re all living the exact same f*cking lives right now. Plus, I’ve accidentally tuned into enough of them to know that no one’s watching anyway.
Not Knowing How To Use Zoom
Me: I just did this really hard online escape room
Coworker: you mean our company Zoom meeting?
— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) April 13, 2020
We’ve been at this for weeks now, and you still can’t tell whether you’re on mute or not? Please, for f*ck’s sake, just figure it out. Every extra minute spent on a Zoom call because a vacuum was drowning everyone out or because Karen went through her entire presentation before realizing no one could see her screen, is a minute we could’ve spent getting drunk all by ourselves in our own homes on a weekday at 10am.
You know what all the single people quarantining alone asked for? Definitely not for every couple to post their first picture taken together. That’s actually maybe the last thing we could’ve ever wanted. And don’t get me started on the push-up challenge. We’re only a month or so into this thing, and I really don’t want to know what weird sh*t everyone’s going to be posting on Instagram because of a hashtag by the time this is all over.
FaceTiming Without Warning
Just because everyone is technically “available” at all times now doesn’t mean that we’re all prepared to show ourselves on camera without notice. A lot of the rules we usually live by may be out the window right now (or maybe forever? Who the f*ck knows), but if we let everything go by the wayside, society will crumble altogether. So yeah, you’re still gonna need to give a heads up so we can all put on clothes and hide the pile of snacks we were eating before you called.
The Exercise Craze
The workouts I’m not doing starter pack pic.twitter.com/555exXSwsW
— sami fishbein (@samifish1) April 12, 2020
Listen, I get that exercise is like, “good for you,” and we’d all probably go totally stir crazy if we don’t do some sort of regular physical activity. But somehow suddenly everyone is a personal trainer qualified to share their full workout routine every day? Count me the f*ck out. If you want to build a quarantine booty, good for you. If I want to build a booty shaped dent in my couch, that’s my business. And let’s get rid of this whole “don’t gain the quarantine 15” bullsh*t. What your body looks like at the end of this mess should not be the biggest concern.
“If you don’t leave quarantine with a new side hustle, a finished novel, or a new business, you wasted your time.” B*tch, we are in CRISIS. Anyone who manages to fold a single item of clothing during this entire time period deserves to be celebrated for their productivity.
Acting Like An Influencer
It’s not a “set.” It’s a sweatsuit you got at Kohl’s.
— Jared Freid (@jtrain56) April 11, 2020
Sure, post a picture of the sourdough you just made, since apparently, we’re all bakers now, and I can maybe handle a post of your “fit of the day.” But that is where the line is drawn. No one asked to see your morning routine, a time-lapse of your workout, or your mildly embarrassing TikTok dances. We did not all become influencers just because we suddenly have no one to talk to but our phone camera.
Hanging Out With Your Friends In Person
If you’re seriously still doing this sh*t, I just wanna talk. Like, have you not been on the internet once in the last month? ‘Cause that’s the only explanation I have for why you’d think it’s still okay to go over to your friend’s apartment, meet up for a group hang at the park, or have someone over for “6-feet-apart drinks.” When everyone’s still in quarantine a year from now, we’re all looking at you.
Obviously, we’re all going
a little crazy totally f*cking nuts, but that doesn’t mean that everything we live by as a society should fall apart. You weren’t an influencer before, and you’re certainly not one now, so let’s all just calm down and try to keep a little bit of our dignity for when we have to start facing each other in person again.
Images: fizkes / Shutterstock.com; sarafcarter, samifish1, jtrain56 / Twitter
It’s safe to say this is a pretty stressful time for… literally everyone. Whether you were just forced out of your dorm to go back to living with your parents, or you’re now working from home all day with your roommate who breathes way too f*cking loud, we’re all feeling the same thing: antsy and overwhelmed as f*ck. Not only because you’re now learning which of your friends are complete idiots who thought it was still okay to go out on St. Patrick’s Day (hope they’re prepared to be roasted about this for years to come), but also because you’ve eaten through your entire two-week hoard of quarantine snacks in one day. And, you know, the general anxiety about everyone getting sick and the economy crashing and the healthcare system collapsing and all that fun sh*t. It’s like, kind of a lot to handle.
With all the stress and nervous energy about this Black Mirror episode of a world we now find ourselves in, it’s more important than ever to find a way to get that energy out. And since all the gyms and fitness studios are closing their doors for the time being (low-key kind of nice to not have to deal with dudes hitting on you while you’re just trying to listen to a podcast on the treadmill), many fitness apps and studios are offering their home workout services online for free. Here’s a roundup of all the ways you can break a sweat while at home for free:
obé fitness is an immersive online workout experience with energetic instructors that guarantee you’ll get a good workout and have a great time doing it. They’re offering a free 30-day trial, with hundreds of live classes per week. They offer classes for whatever you’re into, from HIIT to pilates to yoga to barre to a whole lot more. Most of their classes are only 28 minutes long, which is about the amount of time I can step away from my computer without anyone getting suspicious. You can access their classes here.
The Sculpt Society, created by Megan Roup, is doing a 14-day free trial of their dance-cardio and strengthening routines, which honestly kind of sounds like a party. There are a bunch of videos of all different time increments, so if you have 15 minutes or 50 minutes, there’s a workout for you. Check out Megan’s classes here and also keep an eye out for your inbox because she’s doing live workouts throughout the day.
CorePower is offering free online classes for everyone, which you can stream here. They offer yoga classes for people at every level, which is perfect for those of us who haven’t been able to touch our toes since we were like, five.
Despite how much sh*t we all gave their commercial during the holidays, I bet we’re all wishing we’d gotten a Peloton bike for Christmas right about now. Even if you don’t have an exercise bike at home, Peloton is offering a 90-day free trial, which can be used for not only spin classes, but also body weight, yoga, strength training, and meditation classes. You can find their free trial here.
The Miami, Coral Gables, and Manhattan-based HIIT class is creating at-home bodyweight workouts (that require no equipment) that will be emailed daily. Each workout is 40 minutes long and only requires downloading an interval timer app. Visit their Instagram for more details.
All of Downdog’s apps (Yoga, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout), which specialize in home workout routines that can be done anywhere, are free until April 1st for everyone, and until July 1st for all students and teachers. All of their apps can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Fit Body App
Not only do you get a 7-day free trial with Fit Body App, which offers workout challenges, custom workout programs, and meal plans, you can also get four weeks free when you use the code DAJEITALIA if you sign up through their website.
Tone It Up
Tone It Up is offering a free month for new users who download the app from the App Store or Google Play. They have yoga, weight training, HIIT, barre, and a variety of other classes, which is great if you have the attention span of a goldfish and get bored after doing the same workout more than once.
P.volve is a low-impact workout that focuses on activating hard-to-reach muscles with precise movements. You can get 30 days of P.volve free, which gives you access to hundreds of videos that vary in length and area of focus, through their website.
Dance like no one’s watching (except maybe your dog) during one of 305’s famous dance cardio classes, live at noon every day on their YouTube page. We promise you will get a serious sweat in.
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Slider CORE WORK with @sydmiller from HOUSEWORK! Hunkered down at home? Take a class with her on NEOU. Try this one: Spider plank to cross cross Spider plank to cross cross + plank up down Forearm plank to pike Pike to knee tuck Slide plank jack Perform each exercise for 45 seconds. Rest 60 seconds. Complete 3 rounds . . . . . . . #neou #alwayson #athomeworkout #housework #fitfromhome #coreworkout #quaratine #covid19 #coronavirus #sweatsession #absworkout #fitnessexpert #sliderworkout #bodyweightworkout
Neoufitness lets you stream live and on-demand fitness classes from wherever you are. They offer a ton of different options, like dance, cardio, kickboxing, and a variety of other classes. Neoufitness is now offering 30 days free for new members. Our fav is Sydney Miller’s Housework. You can access it here.
Get a 21-day free trial of Openfit, which has live and on-demand classes of all kinds. All classes are under 30 minutes long, with some fitness classes as short as 10 minutes, and they offer classes for all levels of experience. Get your free trial here.
While Blogilates is always free on YouTube and Blogilates.com, there’s a 14-day quarantine home workout plan available, along with lots of apartment-friendly workouts so you don’t have to be that annoying upstairs neighbor who’s loud as f*ck during someone’s conference call.
Barre3 is offering a free 15-day trial to stream their hundreds of online workouts, with new ones added every week. This is a low-impact workout that is all about building better posture and finding balance in your body. Access the free trial here.
Get a free 7-day trial of Dancebody, which offers live and on-demand dance-based cardio classes that will work muscles you didn’t know existed in a fun but challenging way. You can access their classes here.
Melissa Wood Health
Melissa Wood Health has a free 7-day trial of her yoga and pilates-inspired workouts, which I’m pretty excited about cause I swear this is the routine every influencer does. These are low-impact, flow-style classes that focus on slow and controlled movements. You can find her classes through her website.
This situation may be the absolute worst, but at least you’ll get to try out some new home workout apps for free that can keep you busy and hopefully get your mind off things. (Just set like, a billion reminders on your phone to cancel everything before you get charged.) And at the end of the day, just be glad you’re not in quarantine with your ex. And if you are, best of luck to you.
Images: Form / Unsplash
Shopping for bathing suits is the absolute f*cking worst. Especially when you’re shopping for spring break. Attempting to stay on trend but still be comfortable, wondering why some store’s sizing is so f*cked, trying not to break the bank for something you may never wear again after that week—it’s a lot. What’s with swimsuits suddenly costing an entire semester’s tuition??? Oh wait, that’s just for the top. If you want bottoms too you’ll have to give up buying your books this semester. All reasons why I usually end up waiting until the last possible minute to find a swimsuit and get stuck with whatever piece of fabric I can find that fits.
Thankfully, I’ve learned from my mistakes and know that right now is probably the best time to shop for swimwear, and to make sure that I find a suit that doesn’t force me to give up my weekly Thirsty Thursday margs. Here are eight different swimsuits that are all under $50 and aren’t ugly af.
Aerie Strappy Back One Piece, $31.46
Tbh, you can’t go wrong with a classic one-piece. Aerie’s swimsuits always have a flattering fit AND they have an option for long sizes for those of us with long torsos. The struggle is real. IYKYK. This suit will give you all the comfort of a standard one-piece suit with the bonus of a strappy back that gives it a chic touch.
ZAFUL Scalloped High-Waisted Bikini, $29.99
Leave it to Amazon to come in clutch for literally everything. I cannot even begin to express my admiration for high-waisted bikinis and their ability to hide the absurd amount of tacos I eat before I go swimming. This ZAFUL suit will be flattering on an array of body types (just make sure you check the sizing and read the reviews before you order). I find high-waisted bikinis give you the same ~security~ as a one-piece suit with the convenience of a two-piece.
ASOS Twist-Front Cut-Out Polka Dot Swimsuit, $45
If you’re an indecisive betch like me and can’t choose between a one-piece and a bikini, welcome to the perfect combo: the monokini. This piece comes in both tall and fuller-bust sizing, making it more versatile than some other styles. I know, I know, monokinis have a bad rep for the ridiculous tan lines they leave behind, but this piece is so sleek and cute. And if you think about it, the cutouts are no different than if you were to wear a dress in a similar style, so just embrace it. I love this suit because it indulges my inability to make any choices for myself (something Pilot Pete and I have in common)!
Cupshe One-Shoulder Reversible Bikini, $24.99
I’m sorry, did you say a REVERSIBLE bikini? As in two bikinis for the price of one?? Please just take my money, I literally could not ask for more.
H&M Push-Up Triangle Bikini Top, $19.99 & Bottom, $12.99
This one gives off tropical vibes so you’ll actually feel like you’re going somewhere exotic, even if you’re actually just chilling at the public pool in your hometown because you and your friends didn’t have your sh*t together enough to plan a trip for spring break. This suit comes in a variety of colors and patterns, but tops and bottoms are sold separately. Thankfully the full suit will only cost you about $35!
XhilarationWomen’s Ribbed Cut Out Tie Front Bralette Bikini Top, $14.99 & Ribbed Cheeky Bikini Bottom, $14.99
According to my sources (aka Google), texture is a big trend for swim this year. So if you’re planning on going on The Bachelor one day and want your feed to give off fashion influencer vibes, this ribbed bikini is the perfect choice. Like the piece from H&M, the top and bottom are sold separately, and the full suit will cost about $30.
Swimsuits for All Beach String Bikini, $19.98
Not only is this bikini on MAJOR sale, but you also get to mix and match the sizes of the top and bottom. It’s also really cute and tropical, so you should probably snatch it up before it’s gone.
ZAFUL Cross-Back High-Cut Swimsuit, $13.99
This one-piece is also on super sale and comes in a few different colors. The thing I really love about it is the tie-around waist. I imagine it’ll make me feel like Shakira dancing with that rope during the Super Bowl Halftime Show. And isn’t that kind of what we’re all going for, at the end of the day?
You don’t need to drain your bank account for a fire swimsuit you’ll actually want to bring on your spring break trip. Just use the critical thinking skills you’ve been neglecting to apply in class all semester. Now you can use all the money you saved on what really matters during spring break: dangerous amounts of alcohol and 3am trips to McDonald’s.
Images: Ben Parker / Unsplash
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The spring semester is full of exciting experiences, like spring break and the return of #dartyszn. It’s also full of some pretty dreadful things: like listening to someone begin every sentence with, “last semester, when I lived—sorry, studied abroad—in Par-ee…” While it’s definitely great to see all of your friends who were gone the last semester, hearing about how everything is “just sooooo much better abroad” over and over again gets pretty old pretty f*cking fast. Not to worry, I’m here to salvage your relationships with some tips for dealing with your friends who can’t help but use every breath to remind you they studied abroad in the fall.
The “Bilingual” B*tch
People who study abroad looove to act like they’re suddenly fluent in another language after just a couple of months. Even the ones who went to London. Like, sure, I may not have a clue what a crumpet is (it has something to do with tea, right?) but I’m 100% positive it’s in the Oxford English dictionary—emphasis on English, so chill out, Jessica. All you’ve got to do when someone starts slipping Spanish, Italian, or French words into the conversation is tell them that you must have taken the same language course: reading a restaurant menu. More power to you if you’re able to hold an elementary conversation in another language, but let’s be real—the only words most people learn while they’re abroad are the names of the food and drinks from that country.
The Self-Proclaimed Foodie
Look, I get it. Food that isn’t from America is “life-changing.” If I could have freshly baked bread and burrata for literally every meal, I would. But unfortunately, that’s not how it works in college dining halls, where you can only hope that your food is made with some ingredients that could legally be classified as food, and not “eggs” that came from a bag. Next time your friend starts going on and on about how the food here just doesn’t compare, say “listen, I f*cking believe you. But let’s make the most of this mystery meat cardboard pizza, unless you actually have some of that mind-blowing food you keep talking about to eat instead.” As long as you keep throwing their mediocre food account on Insta some likes, they’ll get over any initial hurt feelings.
The Cultured One
Obviously, traveling is a great way to immerse yourself in other cultures. There are a sh*t ton of museums and monuments and to visit, and the fact that you’re in a different part of the world altogether is a learning experience. Get ready to listen to your friends talk about how ~cultured~ they’ve become since living abroad. How they went to different museums every week, and were always trying new foods, and reading new books, and speaking to locals in their native tongue. Ask them if they’ve stepped foot in a museum since getting home, or watched anything more foreign than the British version of The Office, and they’ll be forced to come to terms with the fact that they haven’t really changed as much as they’re putting on.
The One With A Story For Everything
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Apparently, even the smallest thing can remind someone of a never-ending story about their time abroad. You can’t mention traffic, going to the grocery store, or even f*cking breathe without them going, “OMG that reminded me of when I was in Florence…” *cue eye roll.* Be sure to follow up every study abroad story with an equally as uneventful story of your own to show them that doing something as boring as washing your hands does not suddenly become interesting just because it happened in a different country. I physically couldn’t care less about how you accidentally used the wrong tense of a word while ordering breakfast one time. I do that all the time in English, and you don’t see me bragging about it.
The One In A Long-Distance Relationship
Chances are at least one of your friends is going to come back with some ridiculous whirlwind international romance they primarily pursued in an effort to live out their Lizzie McGuire Movie fantasy. Now that they’re back in “the States,” they’ll love regaling anyone within earshot with the details of their love story and the hardship that comes with FaceTiming across time zones. Give me a break. You can probably get them to shut up about it (and hopefully just end the whole thing) by asking if their newfound soulmate has any plans to be in the country in the next 6-12 months. Once they realize they have a better chance of making tuition money by selling feet pics than they do of over seeing Paolo again, they’ll come to their senses.
Honestly, your friends are just excited to share their new experiences with you (and also convince you that they definitely never felt any FOMO while they were gone. No, not even once). Give them a week or two to tell as many stories as they want (even if you’ve heard the same one a million f*cking times), and indulge them by asking questions to help get it out of their system. Then you can start giving them sh*t after a few weeks if they’re still talking about how different the water tasted. They’ll get the point.
Images: Atikh Bana / Unsplash
After a long semester and a seemingly endless exam period, winter break could not come f*cking soon enough. Break is probably the only thing motivating you to just finish your damn paper, so you might find yourself daydreaming mid-study session about all of the great things you’re gonna do with all the free time you’ll suddenly have. But before you get ahead of yourself, let’s take a moment to bring your winter break expectations back to reality.
Actually staying on top of school work
Expectation: After seeing how much you f*cked yourself over during finals by not doing the readings literally all semester, you’re gonna order all your books for next semester and get ahead on the reading. You’re determined to make Dean’s List and vow you won’t put off all your work until the last minute like you did last semester.
Reality: Two weeks into the spring semester and you still haven’t bought your books yet. And probably never will, tbh.
Having a rom-com romance
Expectation: You’ll go ice skating or Christmas tree shopping and have a Hallmark movie-style meet-cute whirlwind romance. You and your new true love will save Christmas/whatever small town you live in by baking cookies or solving a low-grade crime or something.
Reality: You spend every damn day
unsuccessfully resisting the urge to hit up your high school ex.
Getting sh*t done for your future
Expectation: Every day will feel like #motivationmonday and you’ll submit ALL of your summer internship applications before the end of the break.
Reality: You sleep in past noon every day—when the sun sets at like, 4pm, how could you possibly be expected to get anything done in that time frame? It’s also only December. You’ll have pleeeenty of time to get that sh*t done before the summer deadlines. I mean, that’s what syllabus week free time is for, right?
Finally getting fit
Expectation: With all that free time, you’ll hit the gym every day and put all those Lululemon leggings you’ve been wearing exclusively to class to their intended use. You’ll have no excuse without classes and studying to get in the way, so you’ll finally be able to embody the fit b*tch you stalk (but refuse to follow) on Instagram.
Reality: Your slight motivation to work out doesn’t stand a chance with all the holiday baked goods sitting around. Spin class? Sorry, what? I couldn’t hear you over the crunch of this peppermint toffee in my mouth.
Social media activity
Expectation: Your Insta game is going to be ON. POINT. You know all the hacks to make your hometown look aesthetically pleasing. With so many cute Christmas decorations and all your winter outfits, there will be endless opportunities to keep your feed fresh.
Reality: It’s too f*cking cold to dress cute. In a couple of weeks no one will have likes on Instagram anymore, so what’s the point of even trying?
Eating real food at home
Expectation: For weeks you’ve been fantasizing about all the home-cooked meals your parents will make you. You can’t wait for a break from the college dining hall food and the food poisoning that comes with it. They’ll have a whole spread of all your favorites set up for your arrival.
Reality: Your parents barely even cook anymore and all they have in the fridge is a jar of pickles and a bag of unopened wilted spinach. Looks like delivery again.
Meeting up with your hometown friends
Expectation: You’ll hang out with your friends 24/7, just like in high school. Everything will feel like you never even spent time apart and there will be no drama.
Reality: It takes at least a full week, five different “activity” suggestions, and 12 different potential dates and times to plan something. When you all finally decide where to go, half of your friends cancel on you with some bullsh*t excuse at the last second, and the other half only want to meet up so they can convince you to join their pyramid scheme.
Organizing Your Life
Expectation: You’re finally going to check literally everything off your to-do list. Organizing the files on your desktop? Check. Getting a haircut? Check. Admitting to yourself that you can’t afford all the sh*t you have in your shopping carts in all those tabs you have open? Check. By the end of break, you’ll be organization personified.
Reality: Your to-do list will collect dust and accumulate more tasks that won’t get done. Instead of getting your act together, you’re going to watch all those shows you’ve been meaning to watch all semester.
Spending time with your family
Expectation: No matter how much you may hate to admit it, you missed your family like crazy during the semester. You can’t wait to spend quality time with them decorating the tree, watching movies, going shopping for each other’s gifts, and having dinner together.
Reality: You all get on each other’s last nerve within five minutes and spend the rest of your break in separate rooms. You even listen at the door before leaving to avoid interaction. It’s for your own sanity, tbh.
Expectation: You’ll attend a lit af New Year’s Eve party. Everyone will compliment your outfit and your crush will miraculously also be at the party because of the power of ~holiday magic~. You’ll kiss at midnight and live happily ever after (or at least stay together long enough to a steady hookup).
Reality: You’ll ring in the new year watching the ball drop with your family. Your parents will force you to write down some resolutions for 2020 even though you have zero intention of ever changing your ways.
Don’t get me wrong, winter break is the f*cking best. You get to sleep all day, have no real responsibilities, and can pretend for a brief moment that you’ll never have to walk into a lecture hall ever again. But if you want to enjoy it, you’ve got to let go of your expectations that winter break is anything more than hibernation (with Netflix and your parents’ liquor cabinet to keep you company). Honestly, by the time January rolls around, you’ll probably be dying to go back to college, where you’re free from your parents’ curfew and the reaches of your hometown MLM pushers.
Images: Victor Hughes / Unsplash; betches, offcampus (2), squaresayings / Instagram