Ito, R. et al
The 2020 pandemic has changed a lot of our holiday traditions, and the annual holiday party at your school is no exception. If you’re looking for a way to feel that special kind of awkwardness that can only come from being filled in a room with people you hardly know for no other reason that you felt obligated to not be rude, here are some ways to bring some of that seasonal discomfort into your home.
Send a private message to a colleague with an unrequited crush on you
This year, give the gift of false hope to that not special someone in your class who obviously has one-sided feelings for you and drop them a line. If there’s one guaranteed way to make it feel like you’re at an unenjoyable Christmas party, it’s the non-subtle leering of your secret admirer. For extra discomfort, confront them about it to create a scenario that will make at least one of you squirm.
Get uncomfortably dressed up
Normally, cancelled events means that you get extra time to unwind at home and relieve some stress. But, if you were looking forward to not being relaxed at all this holiday, then make yourself presentable for literally no one. Even if you can’t be at your school’s pointless event, you can do the next best thing; sweating through your best clothes in shoes that are absolute murder to wear.
Eat snacks in front people walking past your window
One of the few things that make going to school functions worth it is the fact that there will be tasty snacks. However, this is often a double-edged sword, since in order to partake in the food, you also have to be able to put aside the knowledge that people you have to see on a regular basis. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to simulate this scenario. Just buy the same snack at the store that the party planning committee obviously bought them from, and then eat them in front of your window with the blinds open. This way, anyone walking past can be a substitute for your fellow party goers. Bonus points if any of them actually are!
Make a snow professor and imagine it nagging you about all your late paper
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If your favorite form of awkwardness is your instructor confronting you about all the work you haven’t finished, you don’t have to let COVID get in the way of that. Get some fresh air for a change creating a effigy of your equally cold hearted professor, and then pretend it just asked you about your schoolwork at a party specifically meant to be a break from the school year. Just don’t put any old hats you found on your snow-prof or it might come to life.
Go to whatever alternative event the school is holding
While all these ideas will work in a pinch, there’s no substitute for the real thing. If your school has some COVID-safe plans for an alternative function, maybe give it a shot. If one thing can enhance the already present feeling of unnatural socializing, it’s having to navigate around pandemic safety protocols. Whether it’s listening to people talk over each other on Zoom, trying to stay six feet away from each other in a room that no way accommodates that, or God forbid an escape room, you can bet that if your school tries to force you to spend more time with your department despite the pandemic, you better believe it’s not going to be enjoyable!