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The Homecoming Survival Checklist

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A Place To Sleep That Is Not A Current College Student’s Residence

Mistake numero uno that everyone makes (and I continue to make) when going back for homecoming: banking on a younger friend to remember that he or she is hosting you for a weekend. These are college students. The only things running through their mind are school, booze, and sex. They live weekend-to-weekend. I’ve shown up on many a doorstep expecting to be welcomed with open arms, only to be met with “Oh, fuck. That was this weekend?” The worst situation you’ll find yourself in is one of desperation. Book a hotel room. Didn’t book one in time? Call every damn hotel in town in the two weeks leading up to HoCo weekend. People cancel their plans. Capitalize on it. If you don’t have a hotel room, don’t go. This isn’t a hard rule, just more of a tip. If you stay with a younger friend, keep in mind that you’ll be waking up at 9 a.m. each morning, drinking all day, and getting made fun of for being old. You’ll barely remembering anything from the weekend, which will result in the worst hangover of your life come Sunday.

An Overinflated Yearly Salary/Sense Of Self-Importance

Add a few thousand dollars to your yearly salary and make a few superficial changes to your job title if anyone asks. You’re not making $42,000 a year. You’re hauling in $50K and stacking sky high cake. You’re not a junior marketing coordinator. You’re a marketing manager. An inflated sense of self is going to give you that edge of confidence you seek when trying to compete with dudes and chicks who went STEM.

One Great Non-“Remember When” Story

The worst kind of story is the Bobby Boucher story. “Remember when Bobby Boucher showed up at halftime and the Mud Dogs won the Bourbon Bowl?” The “remember when” story is lazy: “I remember when the rec center closed down because the guy shit in the middle of the lap pool.” Homecoming is about catching up with friends, not your mediocre frat stories and that one time you ran away from the cops after a house party. If you have a story, it better rock everyone’s damn world. A good homecoming story should do two things: 1. Embarrass the hell out of someone who makes more money than you do, and 2. Make people laugh until they piss their pants.

A Ride That Won’t Leave Before Noon But Will Leave Before The Sun Goes Down

Ain’t nobody got time to get in a car at 8 a.m. and book it back to your hometown, although, your first instinct when you wake up will probably be to get the hell out of there. Regardless, sleep it off and grab a late breakfast. You’ve got all day to get home. Just don’t let it turn into an all-day Sunday Funday, where you get stuck in some sort of nightmare limbo between a full-blown hangover panic attack and college drunk. Nothing good comes out of that. Your estimated time of departure should be somewhere between noon and 3 p.m. Three hour window. That’s enough time to get lunch, maybe a Bloody to even you out, and get the hell out of Dodge when the clock strikes. You’ll thank yourself when you get home at a reasonable time and get to spend several hours on your couch.

Access To Fluids And Painkillers

Right when you start nearing your campus’s highway exit, you get that little tingle in your nethers. You want to drop your bags off at the hotel and book it to the nearest bar to start pounding booze. This is your cue to slow down and plan ahead. Stop at a gas station. Load up on water, Gatorade, vitamin B supplements, and Advil. You never realize how little access you have to hangover remedy supplies until you’re actually inside the hotel. There’s a better way to handle this. Throw it all in the mini-fridge and be prepared to take on any hangover.

Your Old Dealer’s Number

I’m not condoning recreational drug use by any means. I’m just being realistic.

Your Ex’s Number

I’m not condoning getting back together with your ex by any means. I’m just being realistic.

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Brian McGannon

What do I love? I love happy hour, a good golf tan, and getting moderately drunk during dinner.

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