Stages of Driving Home For Break

Maybe you go to school in your hometown, or a half hour away, so for you, going home is a breeze. But a lot of us go to school in another state, or quite a ways away from home. And I don’t know about you, but long drives are actually pretty great. I mean, sure, it’s a long time to be in the car by yourself (unless you carpool with friends), but it’s nice to turn up your best playlist and just drive. You know you love a good road trip, and we do too.

First things first, you gotta make sure you’re totally ready to hit the road. Did I fill my tank? Did I get a sonic drink? Did I forget my straightener? Did I pee? Do I have everything I need? Check, check, check. Except when you remember you totally forgot everything and you need to go back to your apartment/dorm real quick. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. You pack it all up, call mom and tell her you’re on your way, and hit the road. 

You start your favorite playlist, and at first you’re just kinda casually listening, but then you start feeling it, and next thing you know you’re rehearsing your audition for American Idol and Broadway and wondering where your record deal is. So obviously you have to send Snapchats to your squad because you sound flawless and everyone needs to know. You can’t wait to hear back from them begging you to drop the hottest album of the year, but then they do respond and ask you to stop and you remember that you actually really can’t sing to save your life. But does that stop you? Absolutely not. 

After about an hour of driving, you start to get a little bored. You already performed your Grammy-worthy renditions of every Beyoncé song ever, and you realize that driving is actually kinda boring. The highway is actually really boring. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, some Subaru decides they wanna ride your bumper while you’re on cruise control. How dare they? Who do they think they are? You get annoyed but do nothing because you’re a chill person.

Until that person then passes you and flips you off despite the fact that you are definitely already speeding. Oh, heck no. The annoyance of driving turns into low key road rage, but you try to keep your cool because it’s not a big deal but before you know it you’re yelling at the person you’re behind for going too slow and you’re yelling at the semi truck that is for some reason in the left lane even though the sign clearly says for slow traffic to keep right. Ugh, some people are so annoying.

And then you hit traffic. But the worst part about traffic isn’t that it’s annoying, which it is, but it always seems like you have to pee right when traffic slows down. You think to yourself, why me? as you sit in this traffic trying not to think about water. You start to wonder if this is punishment for yelling at the old lady who drove too slowly about 40 miles back. You immediately feel bad. Sorry, old lady.

Eventually the traffic starts to pick up and move and you immediately exit because if you don’t there’s a strong chance you’ll pee your pants. Unfortunately, it’s always those small towns with nothing but a sketchy gas station and a McDonald’s that you stop to go to the bathroom in. The McDonald’s looks like no one has been inside it since tube tops were cool, so you choose the gas station. You get out of the car feeling terrified because for some reason you feel like everyone is staring at you. All you need to do is pee, and maybe grab a snack because you still have a few hours to go and all that traffic made you hungry. You pee faster than you thought humanly possible, grab a snack, and get back in your car all while frantically applying hand sanitizer. 

You’re back on the road, and it’s starting to get a little lonely. This is the part of the trip where you either start to think deep about your life and school and friends and everything, or the part where you turn that playlist back up and lose yourself in the music. Either way it’s nice, because you really don’t ever get to just sit and think about life when you’re at school, it’s all tests and homework and thinking about everything you have to get done. But now it’s just you and the open road, and it’s actually really relaxing. 

But then you get a little too relaxed and start to realize the inevitable: you’re really sleepy. Who can blame you? Odds are, you’re coming straight from class or work, and you’re a busy person. Life is hard and school is hard and you probably haven’t slept much. You try to turn up the music to keep you awake, and it works for a few minutes, but eventually you find yourself putting “coffee” in your GPS and stopping for some caffeine. After all, you need it. 

Now that you’ve had a caramel mocha with an extra shot of espresso, you’re ready to drive for what feels like days. You could run home, even. The music goes back up and you jam hard, enjoying how few people are on the road. You can drive however fast you want. You start to notice everyone’s cars and every time you see someone with sorority letters you have the urge to pass them just to see if you know them, even though you aren’t even in that sorority and you don’t know anyone in it. But still, curious. 

Finally, you reach your hometown and immediately you’re mushy and nostalgic, remembering you have to drive past your old elementary school to get home, and seeing the stoplight where you got rear-ended in high school, and you just feel like you’re home. When you get to your house, your parents hug you and bring in your bag and you immediately rush to the bathroom because you drank so much caffeine to get here. But it’s so nice to be home. And then you have to do it all again at the end of break to go back to school, but hey, it’s not that bad. 


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