I admit, I’m a product of the suburbs. My hometown is full of big, leafy trees, smiling children and drive – thru Starbucks that close at ten. It’s a great place to raise a family — but not such a hot place to be 21 in.
Going home from college is often more of a culture shock than a relief, and summer offers the most excruciating spell of the suburban blahs for us hip young folk. And it gets worse as we get older: old high school friends start disappearing and the townsfolk start expecting something from your burgeoning age and wisdom. Thus, I’ve crafted a survival guide for those contained to station – wagon – filled confines for the summer months:
1. Milk it. This is obvious and essential. If you’re back living with your parents, fill up. Eat. Sleep. Play the “I’m a poor college student, I don’t eat!” card. Play the “I’m stressed, I just finished finals!” card. Play them hard. And for at least two weeks. You need only to get out of bed for meals.
2. Grandma. At the end of your two weeks of eating and sleeping, you might be feeling a little lonely. A faithful friend who always wants to hang out with you is Grandma. (If Grandma is not available, try Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Friendly Old Shop Clerk, Town Pastor, Neighbor, etc.). Basically, old people are cool and can tell you a lot about life if you ask the right questions, and you’re guaranteed to get a meal out of it.
3. Long walks. This one is kind of radical for the suburbs. At school, like most crazy young people, I walk everywhere. In the suburbs I’m stuck at home all day without a car while my parents are at work. At first, I didn’t know what to do if I wanted to go somewhere. I literally forgot I could walk places.
People in the suburbs only take walks for leisure. If they really need to go somewhere, they hop in the Volvo. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Walk somewhere fun and tally the number of weird looks you get from mini – van driving passersby. As Gandhi once said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
4. Garden. Just kidding. But last night I did sit on the sun porch and I swear I saw some trees grow. Come to think of it, it was pretty relaxing. I could get used to this.