By Catherine Terelak

With the holidays fast approaching, many Grinnellians are anxiously anticipating the big return home. If you fall into this camp, don’t fear! Shifting from GR to HR* while you’re still on campus is a fantastic way to practice interacting with relatives you haven’t seen in months. Here are just a few helpful tips, so you can use the power of reality shifting to make this holiday season go as smoothly as possible! 

  1. On YouTube, there are tons of great subliminals that will put you in the headspace to get into petty little arguments with your parents. My favorites are “Mom, Who Cares if There’s a Hole in this Sweater?” and “Dad, I Don’t Want to Watch NCIS Right Now.” Some channels have also produced grandparent-themed subliminals, such as “No, I’m Not A Republican Yet,” “I Still Don’t Know How to Play Cribbage,” “Don’t Tell that Baseball Story Again,” and “Let’s Not Try to Guess My Weight, Nana.”
  2. As a liberal arts student, it’s a great idea to script awkward conversations about your murky future. For example: “I’m studying English, but in terms of career goals, I’m still deciding between surgeon, astronaut, and Supreme Court justice. In two years, I see myself at either Harvard or NASA. I have an offer from Goldman Sachs, but I’m waiting until the next president announces his cabinet. I’ve heard my name floated as an option for Sec. of Ag.” Leave this script under your pillow at night, and in the morning, your brain will have absorbed it.

  3. Remember, your childhood home is not High Street! Lie down on the floor with your arms and legs spread out so that no part of your body is touching another. Count to one hundred and repeat these affirmations between each number until you fall asleep: “I’m having one glass of wine. Okay, maybe another. I am not allowed to drink three vodka crans at the nice restaurant. I will just sit there and chew ice loudly. I do not need to pregame family dinner. Maybe I do need to pregame family dinner…” 

Never forget that reality is just a social construct. Enjoy the holidays!

*Grinnell reality to holiday reality, for the uninitiated!