Home for the holidays? Use these tips to avoid awkward high school conversations

mustache man

We’ve all been there. Fresh off of your last final, you want nothing more than to escape any thought of school and hit up all your favorite hometown spots.

But wait, who’s that guy stealing samples from an unsuspecting Comfy Cow employee? It’s that guy you sort of knew from high school that you haven’t talked to since graduation night.

Oh dear…he’s coming to sit down at your table.

While you’re desperately grasping at any possible conversation topic that won’t just lead to uncomfortable silence, he’s going on about the one time during high school, and then everything goes dark. 

If you’re like me, you want to avoid situations like these by any means necessary. That’s why we at the College Heights Herald have gone through the trouble of seeking out the nation’s most esteemed social scientists (save for the fact we didn’t) to provide you, our beloved readers, with tips on how to avoid awkward encounters during your break from the Hill:

1) Wear a disguise: It’s simple, the best way to avoid people that might recognize you is to make yourself unrecognizable. Now I know college students are on a budget, so plastic surgery is likely out of the question, but investing in a trench coat or a phony mustache should get the job done.

2) Become a dentist: Nobody, including people from your old high school, likes going to the dentist. Just slap on a surgical mask and act uninterested while asking about their personal life (we recommend not putting your hands down their mouths though) and your high school colleagues will get the idea.

3) Just act confused: A former classmate engages you in a public place? Act like you have no clue who they are. Better yet, act like you’ve never met another human being in your life. I can’t begin to tell you how many times not knowing what the heck is going on has saved me throughout my life.

4) Eat like there’s no tomorrow: While this tip is limited to interactions taking place at food establishments, which all interactions should, it is still highly effective. As soon as someone from your past joins you at your table, immediately begin eating whatever food is present. If you run out of your own food, just dive right into neighboring tables. Do not stop until said person becomes uncomfortable enough to leave.

5) Turn yourself in to the FBI: If NBC can make a hit TV show out of this concept, you can surely do it to avoid people from your old high school. “The Blacklist” returns to NBC Wednesday, January 3rd (8/7 CST).

Better yet, go ahead and get those awkward encounters out of the way. Nothing prepares you better for adulthood than begrudgingly talking to people you don’t want to. 

In all seriousness, winter break is a time for relaxation and spending time with the people you love. Don’t let an awkward encounter or two distract you from the fact that you’ve got one semester left to raise your 2.0 to a 3.5.