Tropical Storm Hermine (expected to change names to Hurricane Hermine by the time it makes landfall) just added two extra days to our Labor Day Weekend—as if Florida State University students needed another reason to live it up with the Ole Miss game on Monday. You should definitely get yourself hurricane ready by filling your gas tank, buying water bottles and nonperishables, and locating your nearest hurricane shelter. Once you settle in tonight for the storm, though, you’ll start to either get scared (mom and dad aren’t with you for the first time during a big storm) or come down with a nasty case of cabin fever. Instead of listening to the wind whip the trees around, find a way to make this down time worthwhile.
1. Read Your Syllabi
Use this unexpected free time to do something you never actually do. Print out your syllabi, bring out your planner and write down all of your due dates for the semester—in pencil. You don’t want to confuse yourself with unreliable due dates in the case professors rearrange the syllabus during the semester.
2. Plan a Slumber Party
Cram into the biggest dorm room on the floor or the biggest room in your apartment. You’ll need air mattresses, pillows, blankets and something for your sweet tooth. Let your giggles drown out the sound of the whistling hurricane wind outside and finally try those hairstyles you pinned months ago but never tried. You can even try letting your roommate’s man bun loose and braiding his hair.
3. Catch up on Sleep
Some people complain about a lack of sleep during a hurricane. And then some people knock out and wake up at noon the next day, forgetting it ever happened. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones, use the pitch black solitude the hurricane brings to catch up on the sleep you missed waking up for your 8 a.m.
4. Learn to Cook
Tallahassee notoriously loses power in even the smallest of thunderstorms. You know what that means? The $300 grocery load your mom bought when you moved in your apartment will all turn to mush. Smelly, icky, sticky, rotten mush. Before your food becomes insanitary, call up the most complicated recipe you can find and cook it. By the time you perfect the red wine reduction glaze, you’ll go through your entire freezer’s stockpile of food.
5. Up Your Hygiene Game
Speaking of food, you should probably clean it up once you finish cooking. You’ll likely still need to get rid of more food, so figure out what you can use to make a facial mask. You never get this much free time off the grid, so spend it treating number one to a spa day.
6. Livestream (or tweet) your day
Tallahassee is hashtag hurricane goals pic.twitter.com/hF7hYgyEvd
— amber_fishoff (@valente_amber) September 1, 2016
Remember when FSU cancelled classes literally the morning of a hurricane day? Vent out your frustration into the Twittersphere and see how many people feel your pain right now. Once the hurricane starts, test out Facebook Livestream to show your friends and family how insanely cool the wind blows all the leaves up to your third-story dorm window. Who knows, you could go viral.
7. Get Ahead on Homework
Maybe you should spend this time productively. We both know you won’t actually finish the trilogy your English professor expects you to read this semester, but maybe with a head start you will. Bring out a bottle of wine, light a candle (you don’t have electricity, anyway) and settle in for a relaxing read. Bio majors, get ahead on memorizing your orgo nomenclature. Hurricane Hermine wants you to up your GPA this semester.
8. Prepare Your Ballot
Take the time to figure out who the hell you will vote for this November. The options are technically limitless (you can always write in whoever you want), but examine each of the candidate’s platforms in the different offices up for grabs and decide who you want to fill it. With lots of senator and representative positions up for grabs, your educated vote could make a difference this elections season.
9. Get Published
How many essays do you have sitting in your documents? Open one up, read it over and consider submitting it for publication. Whether you wrote a formal research paper for American history or a personal essay for a creative writing class, you will find an outlet that wants to put your name in lights (I mean, pixels). Plus, you can add your published work to your resume.
10. Conquer a Food Challenge
You still need to get rid of food. The power went out hours ago, and you can see your leftovers screaming for consumption. Gather your friends in a room, hand out forks and see who can eat the most food in the least amount of time. Or, you can always go for the classic cracker or cinnamon challenge. You’ll probably fail but you can get a funny video from it.
11. Read a Book
Curl up by the flashlight with a thrilling novel. The weather outside may remind you of Wuthering Heights, so pick up Bronte’s novel if you want a classic. By the time you finish, you’ll still confuse the family trees from the book and still have no idea when the power will come back.
12. Get Fit
You might not have air conditioning when the power goes out. When the temperature starts rising, use towels as makeshift yoga mats for some hot yoga. You might as well take advantage of the heat and shed some calories in the process.
13. Channel Your Inner Mixologist
Ever drank a hurricane? Whether you drink a few ice cold beers or a Long Island Ice Tea, you’ll need a few cocktails to calm your nerves during your first hurricane without mom and dad.
14. Color like it’s 1995
You’ll likely head to Walmart or Publix before the storm hits. Do yourself a favor: Buy crayons and a coloring book. As a kid, you used to spend hours (messily) coloring your favorite TV characters and comic book heroes. Now, you can find fancy-shmancy adult coloring books with soothing patterns to take your mind off the raging storm.
15. Pretend You’re a Meteorologist
Once the storm winds down, people will start to wander out of their dorms, apartments and houses to survey the damage outside. If we get lucky, we’ll only see trees and small debris on the roads. If this happens, you will get bored waiting for the trees to clear. Put on rain boots (don’t jump in puddles, this is college) and a rain jacket, and pretend you’re a newscaster surveying the damage. You’ll get a kick out of trying to find the terminology to describe the drizzling rain and gusts of wind.
16. Watch All Eight Harry Potter Movies
Don’t pretend like you didn’t mispronounce “Hermine” for “Hermione” like seven times. Each movie lasts over two hours, so you can spend an entire day bingeing and hope the power comes back by then. From Harry’s first steps to Hogwarts to fulfilling the prophecy and conquering Voldemort once and for all, you’ll get all the feels and forget about the storm outside.