Thanksgiving is the first, if not second, time during the fall semester when college students travel back home. It's a nice break from the busy and stressful fast-paced environment we've been living in for 10+ weeks. Since I attend college 10 hours away from home, I always look forward to this holiday because...
It's the first time in 3 months that I get to come home and see all of my family
I get to enjoy my dad's cooking and actually have time to sit and enjoy meals without being rushed
I can catch up on TV shows that my family's recorded on DVR
I won't be judged for wanting to do nothing
NO HOMEWORK (well, if you're lucky)
You can actually sleep in past 8 a.m.
... The list goes on.
Despite all of the amazing things that come with Thanksgiving break, there are always the dreaded questions that every college student is asked multiple times in conversation from different family members. Here are the most frequently asked questions you've probably been asked or will be asked this Thanksgiving:
What classes are you taking?
What's your major again? How do you like it?
Are you doing any outside activities? How are they going?
Are you making any new friends this year?
Anyone special in the picture? Why not? How'd you meet?
Did you vote in the midterm election? Why not?
If you're a senior in college, boy are you lucky! You'll be asked a whole other set of questions in addition to the general ones:
What're you thinking of doing after graduation?
What kind of job are you looking for?
Have you applied anywhere?
Have you heard back from anywhere?
Where are you going to live?
So, how do you survive these endless questions that you're bound to be asked?
1. Be patient
Sure, you'll probably be asked the same question 7 or 8 times over the course of the day and you'll probably get annoyed towards the end, but you just gotta remember that your family hasn't seen in you in months and is excited to hear about everything you're doing. Take it as a compliment that everyone's missed you and is curious about your life. Show off all of your hard work and just keep an open mind.
2. Don't get too emotional
You can't get too emotional over certain topics of conversation. Of course, you're sad to graduate college in a semester and feel like the last 10 weeks have gone by in the blink of an eye but it's not the right time for a sob fest over not wanting to be an adult. If a conversation about politics comes up, try to keep a polite and neutral attitude, especially if you don't agree with something. Getting really heated over a political issue is probably going to create an uncomfortable environment for at least a few people.
3. Know your info beforehand
You can probably already predict what you're going to be asked and maybe even by what specific family member. So why put yourself through the trouble of struggling to find an answer at the moment when you're under pressure? Prepare a few things ahead of time that you think is most worth sharing with your family. Think of it as a mini interview and you're giving a casual version of an elevated speech.
4. Ask questions back
No one ever said the conversation had to be all about you. If you get tired to saying the same thing over and over again, direct the conversation towards a family member and ask about how they've been and what they're up to. It's a good way to have a break from talking and you can catch up on your family members' lives and maybe learn a thing or 2 about adult life.
5. Change the subject
If you've exhausted talking about your classes or feel like a shift in conversation would be less awkward, by all means, go for it. Some topic suggestions:
Plans for the Christmas holiday
Black Friday shopping
Ask for advice on anything
The most important thing to remember is that you're lucky to be spending a day of thanks with the family who love and care about you!