The Turkey Drop

Friday, December 9, 2016

It’s not uncommon to find students coming into UCSF with a full-fledged relationship — one of those we’ve-been-steady-for-two-years types. But as we know all too well, UCSF isn’t always friendly to our long-distance lovebirds.

Blame it on the fact that our significant others don’t understand that studying with our classmates doesn’t actually constitute as spending time with them, or blame it on the fact that school consumes our entire lives, but for whatever reason, many of our relationships come to an end soon after we begin our first semester.

For months, we will battle out the issues of long distance relationships while becoming more discouraged, and inevitably coming to only one of two choices.

I mean, everyone already knows and sees it before you do.

We’ve all checked each other out on Facebook before coming to school and crossed each other out on our mental list of potentials after seeing those pictures of that significant other.

But once school started, you don’t mention that you’re with somebody, and then people start to think that you’re treading dangerously close to the line between classmate and something more.

In your efforts to optimize your new chapter in life, time is spent fully with classmates and school, and it doesn’t seem like you ever spend it on your long distance relationship.

Weeks go by and your relationship gets pushed to the back burner. After a long day at school, you spend hours on late night calls of reconciliation and promises to do better.

But with every broken expectation, the stress of the relationship takes adds up. At this point, you’ve already given up and are just waiting to break it off in person.

By the November Thanksgiving break, we grit our teeth and decide that it’s time to say goodbye. We call this parting the Turkey Drop.

Heart wrenching pain or a deep sigh of relief, the burden of the relationship is done. But what people don’t realize is that the real pain will only come after the few weeks of school left in the first quarter.

During the December winter break, you return to a time when the relationship was still working, and now you are caught at the crossroads of past and present.

With nothing to distract you and consume your everyday, you face your relationship problem full-on.

This is the dilemma of the turkey drop: Just when you thought you were done and moving on, you are forced to face your ex. Why couldn’t you have just waited?

But look at it this way...

Whether you broke up during the Turkey Drop, the Christmas Drop, the Valentine’s Day Drop, the President’s Weekend Drop or the Spring Break Cancun Trip Drop, it was going to happen.

We draw light to the Turkey Drop because it’s so common. Take solace in the fact that you’re not alone and try to see it as an enlightening moment —the timing of the relationship just wasn’t right.

If your relationship can withstand these tests and battles, you’ll both be all the better for it. And if they don’t, there’s no shame in it.

And always remember that closing this door will open many others.