6 Steps To Dealing With Your BFF Post-Study Abroad

By Julia Vallone | 1/11/16 6:00am

16W is finally here and with it the return of snow, sleet and cripplingly depressed LSA/FSP students. While your recently-abroad BFF transitions back to the Hanover winter, you’ll be busy braving the bitter chill of your quasi-cultured companion. For those of you interested in salvaging what is left of your friendship, here are six tips for dealing with your annoying BFF post-study abroad.

1. Take their wistful “staring-off-into-the-distance” M.O. in stride.
Are they thinking about that time they watched the Spanish sunrise with gorgeous men on a beach in Barça? Or perhaps that quaint Parisian bookstore where they discovered their "true aesthetic?" It doesn't matter. The more time they spend daydreaming of the past, the less time you’re forced to spend listening to their incessant chatter.

2. Accept that they'll rant about the superiority of foreign culture very, very often.
Get used to hearing things like "socialism is great," "European art is the best" (read: The Mona Lisa is the be-all and end-all of Western culture) and "Ugh, a chocolate croissant is not the same thing as pain au chocolat!" Remain calm, hold your tongue and hope that a greasy Five Guys burger wins them back to the dark (American) side.

3. Establish an "English only" policy.
Under no circumstance are they allowed to say "blasé," "passé" or "kitsch." Remind them that they are taking a nap (not a "siesta") and eating ice cream (not "gelato"). And don't be afraid to hit them with the cold hard truth: their lederhosen are just glorified overalls.

4. Ease them back into the mediocrity of Dartmouth social life.
Hold their hand as they trade nights at the discoteca for Beta dance parties, tapas and cicchetti for late night Collis and operatic masterpieces for Nugget feature films.

5. Swap their flared jeans and wide-brimmed fedora for Bean Boots and a Patagonia.
Remind them that not every outfit requires a pashmina or hand-blown glass earrings. Sometimes it's okay to switch out the Italian leather handbag for a North Face backpack. Reassure them that wearing sweatpants and a hoodie to class is not a faux-pas. (Don't forget to mention that nobody says faux-pas in Hanover.)

6. Ultimately, remember that you will be just like them someday.
Odds are, next year you’ll be off on your own foreign adventure doing equally pretentious things. You'll come back to Hanover only to have your BFFs put up with you. Until then, though, just be thankful that you and your BFF are finally reunited.

Julia Vallone