By Rebecca Root
The countdown for these next few crazy months has finally reached its end and the day has come to get on that plane. The nerves are high, the excitement is wavering and there is an irritating voice questioning your decision to do this. Was summer camp really a good idea?
A great way to still that inner doubt is to stop the dwelling and just do it. You have signed up for the best summer of your life and, while you may not know it yet, the other nail biting individuals sitting in departures are going to be your new best friends. So start the summer as you mean to go on and begin getting pally with your fellow counselors straight away at the airport.
Once acquainted your excitement will begin to boil over and you will be wishing the flight away so that you can just be there already. This may sound simpler said than done but when everyone is in the same position it’s easier than you think.
1. Wear your t-shirt
Whichever organisation you’re travelling with it’s likely that they bundled a t-shirt into a welcome packet and posted it out to you. While most probably plan to throw it or make it part of their bed time attire there can actually be a good use for it. You can wear it in the airport.
They might be a little garish and have other travellers eyeing your sense of fashion but, you will most certainly be spotted by the right people, aka other counselors. Like campers to ice cream, counselors flock to other counselors and, once spotted, other t-shirts soon start to form a mass in the Heathrow departure lounge.
2. Stop the crying
No one wants to befriend the girl that can’t stop the sniffling. Everyone avoids the guy that won’t put down his phone because he already misses his girlfriend. Saying goodbye for the summer can be hard and sometimes the homesickness kicks in far too prematurely leaving you a snotty mess at check in but, if you can pull it together and make a new friend everything will start to feel that bit better. So hankies away and smiles all round to encourage those t-shirts to make their way to you.
3. Hang by the bar
This is the cool place to be, where the ‘in’ crowd hangs and, if you’re under 21, the place you tank the pints before arriving in the stateside no drinking zone. Under a canopy of cheesy bar tunes and extortionate airport prices, you can begin those first conversations with fellow counselors.
4. Offer something up
A bag of Starburst, a piece of chewing gum or, if you’re Mr Generous, even a drink to break the ice. Offering up a delicious treat provides the conversation starter to the chat you so desperately want to have with your fellow red-t shirt wearer. Aside from a way in, it also immediately creates a great first impression – everyone wants to be friends with Galaxy girl. Who says you can’t buy friends?
5. Help out
Traveling to the US, especially for the first time, can be a daunting process. There’s the long haul flight, scary customs and the dreaded passport checks. You frantically check and triple check your visa while worrying if you really did pack your bag yourself. If you can help a fellow counselor through this stressful experience then do so. Even just starting a conversation so that you don’t have to watch the seconds tick by as you convince yourself you are going to jail, for nothing.