How to Survive Summer Break with your Family

How to Survive Summer Break with your Family

Evie Herb, Staff Reporter

            Baking hot weather, endless ocean, picturesque skylines; summer break is meant to be relaxing and stress-free; a time to finally work your way through that eternal to-be-read list. That is until your family decides that the ideal vacation should include waking up at 3 am to watch a sunrise and hiking a perilous mountain on a trail the size of two Subway subs. Keeping calm in these situations can sometimes prove to be difficult, even harder when you’re stuck enclosed in the same 1,600 square feet. But here are some tips that may make your summer a tad bit more bearable.

  • Stay in Your Room

This is probably the easiest and most reliable way to keep your relationship with your family in tip-top shape. It’s fairly simple: hibernate or lock yourself in a room (preferably your own) for most of the day. To make this process simpler, memorize your family’s schedules. This makes expeditions for necessary resources such as food less likely of a chance encounter. Complications with this plan may include shared rooms or clingy siblings. Solutions to these problems might be finding another room, kicking other people out of your room, or quelling conversations (see point 2 for further explanation).

  • Keep Conversations to a Minimum

If you keep conversations short and sweet, the risks of angering someone in your general vicinity decrease exponentially. However, you still have to share a living space with these humans so cutting off conversations must be done in a specific and carefully planned manner. My personal favorite is a gradual lull in the exchange while meticulously giving your full attention to one given activity (homework, cooking, reading etc.). Similarly giving deliberately dry responses will typically convey your disinterest and grind the conversation to a halt. Another possibility would be escaping to go to the bathroom or having to finish a task in another room. This can save you from further sabotaging yourself.

  • Stick to Safe Topics

In the event that you are unable to liberate yourself from family confrontations, and are obligated to continue conversing, make sure you are aware what topics are safe to approach. For many, anything relating to politics can cause dramatic changes in one’s temperament. Certain topics may also prompt others to become very excitable and drag on the conversation for extended periods of time. Stick to surface level subjects such as upcoming plans or what is being made for dinner. Keeping the discussion veered away from your personal life is another way to guard both mental and familial health.

  • Get a Gym Membership

This particular suggestion has a myriad of benefits: not only does it create a viable excuse to escape the house for hours on end, but you can also work on that “perfect summer bod.” While this solution does require payment, many parents would be more than willing to get you out of the house and into a gym. And if not, you could always settle for a simple 2-hour sprint through a woodland utopia.

  • Sleep

Another foolproof way to deflect your familial problems is to sleep, anywhere and anytime; a couch, outside, under a bench, in a closet, a chicken coop or even an attic. In preparation for the inevitable act of falling asleep, have a blanket on hand at all times. When you are asleep your family is obligated to leave you in peace. Investing in hammocks or sleeping bags can help those with a rowdy and boisterous household.

Even after this intimate and impactful heart-to-heart, I cannot be held accountable for any consequences you may encounter when experimenting with these procedures. And be warned that sometimes the best solution may simply be to spend some quality time with your family. Play a board game during dinner or take a walk through the neighborhood together. And if all else fails, fake it till you make it.