Dinner and a Discussion: Thanksgiving Edition

It’s finally here, our first true break of the fall semester! Just days away, Thanksgiving break offers students a chance to tune out the constant bustle of collegiate life, and return home to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, or to stay in town and celebrate with new found friends for everyone’s favorite Friendsgiving celebration. As wonderful as the break from classes, studying, and the constant worry about college classes can be, there are still certain things that just seem to grind every college student’s gears when it comes to returning home for Thanksgiving break.

If your family is like most, you’ll be surrounded by not only your usual family members that you see on a day to day basis when home, but your extended family as well, and everyone knows what that means: endless questions and inquiries as to your collegiate career and endeavors. Families mean well and they’re just curious, but hearing the same questions over and over and repeating the same answers can become quite a bore after a while, but no fear! We’ve compiled a list of some of the more common questions that you may hear over Thanksgiving dinner and some tips in answering them that can help get the conversation moving right along!

What are you studying?

This seems to be the golden question that all family members are dying to know the answer to, and it never fails that when you tell them your major that you may be met with some confused glances or glazed over looks from your younger family members, so be prepared to explain what your major is exactly. For instances, if you mention that you’re a Mass Communication major with an emphasis in Multiplatform Journalism, you may need to then go on and explain what exactly a MCOM major studies.

What do you plan on doing with your degree?

Everyone seems to use this follow up question upon finding out what you’re studying in college. I don’t believe that family members mean to be nosey at all when asking this one, they’re simply curious. It may be self-explanatory when you mention your major or area of study, such as if you’re a Criminal Justice major they may just assume that you plan on doing something in that field, however if your major lays somewhere in the arts field, they may be interested in what exactly you plan on doing with that degree, and how you plan on using it.

How are classes going?

Personally, this question is probably one of my least favorite of the bunch! Instead of just simply giving your family members the typical “They’re going well,” or “good” answer, throughout my career as a student, I’ve learned that if you add a little oomph behind that answer that’ll be the last of that discussion about those classes that you’re trying to forget about while you’re on break. Simply go into detail about a paper you were assigned in one class, or explain the new project that you have to work on upon your return to campus, and I’ll bet that whoever asked you this one will just nod and say something along the lines of “Oh that’s wonderful dear!”

How’s the love life? Are you seeing anyone?

Everyone’s least favorite question of the dinner discussion! It seems that when you enter college your parents and grandparents almost assume that you’re going to meet your future someone there. However, with all the focus on school and trying to stay afloat in your classes with finals so close relationships are out of the question for some, and for others they’re more content with being alone and simply enjoying the life of your typical college student with friends. Don’t be afraid to let your family know that no one has caught your eye yet, or that you’re simply enjoying being a student! If all else fails you can tell them that you’re married to your grades!

Are you getting enough sleep or rest?

My advice is to simply tell your family the truth regarding this one: sometimes when you sneeze your eyes close and you get a two to three second nap. I mean, what is this sleep thing that our family wants to know about?

And last, but certainly not least: Are you eating well?

It’s easy to lie and say yes, and exclude the fact that just last week four of the seven days of the week you ordered pizza and then ate the leftovers in the following days and then ate Ramen the rest of the week for all three meals, however, it’s probably best to simply just keep eating that delicious home cooked Thanksgiving dinner that you’ve been digging into and nod your head!

So perhaps you may get asked when you’re going to pick a more practical major and go after a more secure type of job/future, and maybe your aunt won’t leave you alone about your love life, as much as we sometimes find the questioning from our families during the Thanksgiving break, don’t take it for granted, our families only mean well! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!



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