Family: You gotta love them

Once a year, families gather to share a meal and talk about what’s new in their lives. They discuss their trials and tribulations and give thanks that they’re together this year. This sounds great, but most college students know that this aspect of the holiday inevitably leads to uncomfortable questions from relatives.

A table set for Thanksgiving dinner. Image from Creative Commons.
A table set for Thanksgiving dinner. Image from Creative Commons.

“So, John, what do you plan to do with your art history degree?”

“Do you have anything planned for after college, Sarah?”

“I heard from Facebook that you had to retake calculus. Why?”

Relatives naturally feel it’s their duty to know what’s going on in your life. They love you and want to get to know you better. In theory, this seems sweet; however, relatives don’t often realize when they’re making you uncomfortable.

When relatives ask about why you chose your major, be honest, tell them about your passion for theater. It’s very likely that they’re curious about your choice. You may feel that they disapprove of you, but does it really matter? You love theater. Your major is your choice, and you should never let anybody make you feel bad about it. People will always question your choices, so use Thanksgiving as a crash-course in justifying.

A vast majority of college students aren’t sure what they want to do after college, and you aren’t a failure if you’re one of them. It can be scary to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life. When your relatives ask, tell them about the different careers you’re considering. They’ll love that you’re opening up to them and will feel proud that so many doors are open for you.

Older relatives seem to be very active on Facebook recently, so be careful what you post. They’ll see those photos from that kegger and that status about how you failed Chemistry. They’ll definitely ask about them. You will be held accountable for what you post, so use your best judgement.

One of the most important things about Thanksgiving is–you guessed it–being thankful. Don’t forget that many college students don’t have families to nag them. Take the time to talk with your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; someday a Thanksgiving will come when you won’t be able to.

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