I don’t know what it is about Howard Homecoming that always fools me into believing I’m a 21-year-old college student again, but every single year I wind up suffering for it. Every. Single. Year.
Maybe it’s the warm, fuzzy feeling I get whenever I run into old friends on The Yard. Or when I’m swag surfing in a massive rainbow of melanin at Yardfest. Or being mixxy at Tailgate without a single thought or mention about who won the football game (because no one under 45 goes to a Howard Homecoming game). Or pre-gaming and partying nonstop until my body aches.
Whatever it is, every time I willfully disregard my near-thirtydom for a few days of good old-fashioned homecoming ratchetry, my mind, body and spirit collectively remind me that I am no longer built for this life and I need to have several geriatric seats. Last year I practically died from physical exhaustion and it took me a little over a month for me to get my voice back. This year I had to force myself to stay awake at a party — like legitimately fighting sleep, y’all. And the next day I was good and ready to throw on my PJs and go straight to bed after brunch. BRUNCH. *sighs* Sad, I know.
Now that I’m officially five years out the game (I can’t believe it’s seriously been that long since I graduated), it’s becoming more and more apparent that I’m not the young whippersnapper I used to be back in my glory years. Thankfully my bounceback period this year wasn’t half as brutal as the last (probably because I only attended one party this year), but anyone over 25 who’s experienced the excruciating toll homecoming weekend takes on your body knows the following things need to happen immediately afterwards:
- Call into work. If you weren’t smart enough to have already requested the day off, you definitely should’ve called in and taken a sick day because a) you probably are really sick and b) everyone knows the day after homecoming should be reserved for uninterrupted rest and lots of Advil.
- Take an Epsom salt bath. Back in the day we could drop it, pick it back up and throw it back for the one time before returning to our respective dorms an hour before our first class. Twenty-five-and-older bodies don’t work like that. Our muscles need to soak in a tub of hot water before we can resume regularly scheduled programming.
- Stay away from alcohol. Like don’t even look at it for at least a solid month.
- Drink lots and lots of water and hot fluids. For however long it takes until your voice finally decides to come back.
- Turn your phone off. In all of your inebriated splendor, you probably texted a few people you shouldn’t have over the weekend — it’s ok. Homecoming is over, so no sense in stressing about it now. Just turn your phone off, go to sleep and block them in the morning.
Until next year! 😉