6 Emotional Stages Of Realizing You're Going To See Your Best Friends Over The Holiday Break
By the time the holiday season rolls around, no matter what kind of school you go to or what kind of industry you work in you're ready for a break. And by the time that last day of work before the the break arrives, your brain is ready to explode with a potent mixture of confetti, tears, and jazz hands. You've worked so hard finishing out the year, long hours and lots of sacrifices and exams and performance reviews, and now the neighborhood is lit-up, enticing you to head home and chill the eff out. After you turn in your last exam or complete your last task at work, you tell yourself you're going to go straight home and dunk your exhausted self in the tub with a bottle of wine and not move for a week. You have no energy left and desperately need those few days off to recharge and get some real sleep.
But then you remember that everyone's going home for the holidays. Your dearest friends who have become nothing more than scattered FaceTime attempts and GChat avatars are going to be real, living, breathing, visible humans again. The panic and joy starts to rise in your throat — HOLY MOLY! You get to hang out with your friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Suddenly you're no longer exhausted. The thought of seeing your friends brings you back to life and you're mastering the three-way call on the ride home so that you and your friends can plan your epic reunion. You already feel for your parents because you know you're going to pull a "Hi, hello, how are you? OK, going out with friends, bye!"
These are the six emotional stages of realizing you're going to see your friends over the holiday break:
I'm Going To Spend Every Second With My Friends!
When it first sets in that you're about to see your friends, your mind explodes with fairies and friendship hearts and you mentally pledge to spend every second together. You don't want to waste a single moment in proximity to each other, not together.
I Have So Many Activities Planned!
You're so excited that you're going to see your friends that your brain goes into planning overdrive. You want to hit all the spots from your hometown that you love. You want to catch up in every possible establishment you can. You make a list of all the cafes you'll visit and the movies you see and the bars you go to and the drives you'll take ... even if you know there won't be time for all of it.
I Miss Them So Much I'm Going To Move Closer To Them
Once you actually reunite with your friends, something in your brain snaps back into place and you're like, "Why the hell don't I live closer to these people, they're my heart and soul!" And you declare that you'll visit more, move closer and call constantly. And in the moment, you totally mean it.
Wow Everyone Has A Lot Of Problems, Too
After a few drinks, suddenly the real stories that lay below the pleasantries start to surface. Some people will admit they're unhappy with their lives in "the real world", other people will reveal mental or physical struggles they've been enduring. The need to show off how adult you are and how far you've come is suddenly gone and the truth oozes out. You feel relieved that you're not the only one who has a hard time. No matter how good everyone's life looks on Facebook, it's never that simple. You feel a lot closer to your friends by the end of that first drunken night.
These People Are Family
In the short time you see your friends, you will go through so many emotions. You'll be at first elated see each other, scattered balls of energy, hugging and squeezing the life and gossip out of each other. And then you will eventually run out of energy and reveal your vulnerable sides to each other as well. And after a few days you'll be back in the groove of your friendship, appreciating comfortable silences and much appreciated ESP style-sentence completion. By the time you leave, you'll be looking at your friends like family.
It's So Sad To Leave, But I'm Ready To Go Back To The Real World
A whirlwind trip home with friends can be both joyful and overwhelming. But after you spend a few days too long at home, the real world starts to scratch at your door. You love your friends, and you wish you could see each other more frequently — but you have a life built up some where else, and the longer you spend away from it, the more it seems like hiding or avoiding the inevitable. But hopefully you'll take with you the warmth of your reunion and actually be better at making time to call and planning trips to visit. Because lifetime friends are once in a lifetime.