How to Convince Your Family You've Got it Together

Collegiettes, brace yourselves; the holiday season is approaching. Sure, it’s an exciting time - the first snow, pumpkin pie, eggnog, stuffing yourself with mashed potatoes, setting up the tree (or menorah), and spending time with the family. Unfortunately, spending time with the family. You probably haven’t seen them all since the beginning of the semester or maybe even last holiday season, so they’re going to want updates - and they usually aren’t interested in how many seasons you were able to binge watch in one sitting or how your last hookup ghosted you. For some reason, they don’t care about how you were able to make a paper topic that's only worth two pages grow into eight pages (it was very, very, very hard, grueling, soul-wrenching and vigorous work, which is defined as…)

But fear not. Now there's only a small reason to dread the upcoming scrutiny and interrogation that you're about to endure because there are some simple ways you can make this upcoming season more bearable, with just a minimal amount of preparation.

1. Appearance

We know you look good in sweatpants, but your family isn't interested (rude). Here are some easy ways to dress yourself up without actually dressing up:


Some of the hairstyles in this article are easier than others but, typically, all you have to do to look like you’ve put in some effort is throw your hair in a low bun, curl it, braid it, or pin it back.


Of course, this page is full of makeup gurus who have tons of practice, but the overall idea is to slap on some eyeliner, maybe some glitter eyeshadow, or go for a dark purple or red shade. Otherwise, the natural look is a perfect way to go.


A sweater and jeans is already easy, so simply add a scarf or some knee-high boots. Hell, just throw on a nice shirt with your leggings and you’ll be looking like you’ve got your life together in no time.

2. The Interview

Do not give up any information that can be later used against you.

Related: The Most Dreaded Questions That Will Be Asked At The Thanksgiving Table

How is school going?

You don’t need to tell them you ugly cried during your last final, that you’re just happy you got a C, or that you’re starting to hate your major. My advice is to just pick one class you enjoyed during your fall semester and talk about that. Whether it’s the teacher, the lessons, or a paper you’re proud of, sometimes the best response is, “You know, I was in this awesome history course where we learned about…”

How is your roommate?

Whether you're best friends or worst enemies, put a positive spin on their life. You'll be safe with classic phrases such as “I don’t know; they've been so busy lately, I hardly see them!” or “They just applied for this really good grad school.”

Are you seeing anyone?

If yes, you can just tell them that. If the relationship is going south or you’re just talking to someone, don’t mention it. They’re going to ask about it the next time they see you, and you’ll have a lot of explaining to do if it all ended. If you’re not dating anyone, don’t panic! Tell them you aren’t interested in dating right now or you're just focusing on your studies, even if it’s just because you haven’t found someone - unless you’re okay discussing at a family function how to pick up a significant other.

What are your plans for after graduation?

“I’m not sure yet. There’s a lot to take into consideration. I’m thinking of either grad school or applying for some [insert random career here, whether it’s what you actually want to do or just something vague like “desk”] jobs. Luckily, I have some time to figure it out!” 


You’re off to a good start by reading this article, but if you plan out some responses, you’ll be better prepared to face your family and won’t be caught off guard. Decide on one set answer for every question you know you’ll be asked. And if you encounter any clichés like, “four years go by fast,” or some relatives’ insensitive political opinions, just nod uninterestedly or get suddenly very interested in the snacks your mom laid out.

You don’t have to have it all together right now, but you can sure as hell pretend that you do.