Tips On Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner Questions

Tremendous Tips And Tricks For Surviving The Endless Thanksgiving Dinner Questions

We all could use a few pointers here and there.


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:

How's school?

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:

TV shows/movies

Plans for the Christmas holiday

Gift ideas/suggestions

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!

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.


To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.


A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.



I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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