Offbeat Academia: Catching up with friends after break

Here are the top five catch-ups you’re bound to hear.

Temple is certainly gracious in giving us an entire month to fall out of all the good work habits we perfected during the fall semester. But most of us were completely separated from our second home, including the people we saw every day: the professor with the drone, the roommate with the girlfriend, the kid who throws up every weekend and even the lady you deny change each morning on the subway. That said, we have a lot to catch up on. So, I’m going to pull another Rob Gordon.

1.) Who got Wall-E for Christmas? Who got Step Brothers or The Dark Knight? Who used the Best Buy gift card they got from their grandma to buy Pineapple Express? I’m sure you did. And I know your friends would be delighted to hear about it, as well as watch each DVD once more before you never touch it again.

2.) Don’t forget to bring up New Year’s Eve. Even though you’ve probably already heard of everyone’s escapades (your at-school-BFF made out with that boy he’s been texting, your roommate doesn’t remember throwing up in a bathtub and your ex-girlfriend had no one to kiss at the stroke of midnight), it’s still surprisingly titillating to hear them all over again – especially with hand gestures.

3.) Also, make sure to complain to your Temple friends. They haven’t heard that since December, you know. They may have forgotten how much you work, how tired you are, how Wendy’s isn’t open late enough or how much your parents procrastinate in depositing Diamond Dollars. Now, maybe you’re saying to yourself: “Oh no, Sarah. I’m afraid I don’t have too much to complain about. How will I keep up with my friends’ conversations?”

Not to worry; the semester has just begun, and everything will hit the fan soon enough.

4.) Something very important to investigate at the start of the new semester is which one of your friends had the least productive winter break.

Ladies and gentlemen, this contest is unlike any other. The riveting tales of worldwide travel, adventure or new experiences do not win. Show me the boy or girl who woke up every afternoon around two, watched every marathon of House on TV and only ventured outside for beer or food – and I’ll show you the talk of the town.

“Oh you went to Europe? Man, I didn’t do anything during break. No, let me tell you: I never got up before noon, and I was so gone, like, every night. Shame it’s over.” I mean, isn’t that who you would be most interested in talking to?

5.) Finally, let your friends know how you’ve changed. Make sure they’re able to handle the new version of you. Because if they’re not, they’re out. Let them know that you’ve got standards, now. You’ve got a vision. It’s not just the haircut or the new clothes. While you were watching your dog pee on the carpet underneath the beer pong table on New Year’s Eve, you had an epiphany. (Just please be modest in a couple weeks when you relapse into your old self – there’s nothing worse than a haughty loser.)

I don’t want to be cynical. I don’t want to say that one month can’t account for any drastic personal changes or fascinating life transitions.

Don’t people save their transformations for the summer, anyway? Remember Suzy had breasts all of a sudden come September?

But some people might even say that the winter break was too long – that they missed out on too much. So, whether you really did discover your free spirit, or you remained relatively stagnant going into the new year, Temple missed you, if not for anything but your tuition payment.

Sarah Sanders can be reached at

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