As we approach Thanksgiving, I’m sure there are many college kids and high schoolers who are dreading the table talk over the holidays.
I find that as more and more holiday festivities approach, I am asked a lot of the same questions by family and friends. There’s always that one uncle, aunt or distant family friend who asks you those questions that really get under your skin.
There are the common high school questions like “Have you picked a college yet?” or “What do you think you’re gonna do?”. Then there are the college questions like “How many credit hours are you taking?” or “What’s your major?” or “Wow. Interesting major. What are you gonna do with that?” or “Do you have a boyfriend?” Sometimes it’s easy to take these with a grain of salt, but most of the time these cringe-worthy questions make us want to stand up and flip the Thanksgiving dinner table over.
Especially with the recent elections, I think that a lot of Thanksgivings will be tense. When the rest of your family has a different political view than you, my advice is to stuff your mouth with turkey and keep eating. Don’t fight. I know that sometimes at family gatherings over the holidays, I get “the look” from my mom. That means to shut up and be respectful because some family conversations get heated. Don’t get in a fight with your “Uncle Bob” just because he might be racist, homophobic, or ignorant of the country’s current social needs. Just quietly agree and scream into your pillow when you get home.
It’s not worth it to get into a fight with your family and family friends over the holidays. Even though it seems that you are right and they are wrong, to start up a heated discussion over turkey or ham does not benefit anyone. The trick is to enjoy the holidays with your family because once they’re over, you can go back and tell great stories to your friends of all the ridiculous stuff “Uncle Bob” said.
Since I’m a theatre major and most of my family is involved with business, teaching, or medical practice, I get a lot of looks and questions about what I’m going to do with a theatre major. With many majors, including theatre, kids who deserve credit for the hard work they put into their majors get harassed with questions involving financial capabilities in the future, employment opportunities and how much harder other majors are. We get it, Uncle Bob. Everything was way harder back in the day, but now, it’s amazing because kids can actually get jobs in things they want to do (and Uncle Bob doesn’t know that). If I want to spend my life searching for jobs on Broadway, I can. If my friend wants to write articles for a newspaper or be a newscaster, she can. If my friend wants to be a math teacher, he can. Employment opportunities shouldn’t matter. Money shouldn’t matter. In 2016, college kids should be supported in their endeavors, and since they are finally given the opportunity to choose the classes that they want to take, they should not be harassed with questions that make them feel judged and insignificant.
So when “Uncle Bob” asks you on Thanksgiving, “What are you gonna do with that?”, know yourself and be confident in your decisions as a college or high school student and don’t fight with him. Eat some more turkey and know that you have the capabilities and the opportunity to do anything you want to do.Happy Thanksgiving.