Winter Break Hibernation

Most Princeton students already meet the main physiological prerequisite for hibernation: massive intake of food, which is then stored in fat deposits in order to survive the winter. However, not many of us actually get the chance to hibernate. There is also a very finite period of time—beginning the moment you go through your festively bedecked front door and ending shortly thereafter—during which you are able to tolerate your family full-time. So let me describe two winter break scenarios:

Option 1: Stalking Facebook for news from the outside world, taking photos of yourself with the roller coaster background on Photo Booth, trying to break your record for how many hours you can play video games straight, huddling in a corner mumbling to yourself as your mom plays Bing Crosby on repeat.

Option 2: Stuffing your face without actively having to counteract it by exercising.

The choice is clear.

​When an animal hibernates, it appears dead. With a well-placed blanket, you can blend in with attic furniture or even the wall decorations in your uncle’s game room. Even if your blanket scheme fails, you can be poked or shoved by your pesky little twerp of a cousin and remain blissfully unaware of it. Instead, you’ll be using the fat you diligently accumulated to get yourself through the frigid climes of familial tension.

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Eat as much food as possible. Do whatever you need to do to store up as much fat as possible. This is critical, as your body needs this source of energy to carry on basic functions while you are hibernating.
  2. Glands control hibernation, as they regulate metabolism, heart rate and breathing rate. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to hibernate by sheer willpower or deep meditation—you need drugs. Hit up your local drug scene and get the word out that you’re buying: there are several black-market drug cocktails floating around which will alter your hormone levels to meet hibernation-inducing thresholds.
  3. Leave a note for your family explaining how you intend to spend your holiday. Do not inform them face-to-face. They will try to weaken your resolve by yelling about “quality time” and “meaningful interaction.”
  4. For an authentic hibernating experience, make a ‘den’ by digging a large hole in your backyard.

Happy hibernating!

- MM ’15

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