Questions College Students Can Expect to be Asked During the Holidays

For many of us, the holidays are a time of celebration of the cultural and family traditions we hold dear to our hearts. In addition, for college students, the holidays are also a time to eat a hearty, home-cooked meal and answer the same three questions from your family members all evening. A common sentiment I’ve heard among students is that what is meant to be a “break” ‒an opportunity to relax and spend quality time with family, can turn into an interrogation session. To prepare yourself for what you think could be a stressful holiday, you may want to think about some of the questions you will almost certainly be asked.

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1. What are you majoring in?

For those of us set on our perspective fields (for now, anyway, because WhO KnOwS wHaT tHe FuTuRe HoLdS), being asked this question may cause no anxiety whatsoever. Stating your name, major, and a fun fact about yourself has already become so second nature to you that you don’t even have to prepare for it. However, if you’re a first-year student...sis, you need to have your answer Ready. To. Go. If you have an uncommon major...make flashcards if that’s what it takes! Copy and paste the official website description of your unusual, super cool major onto your brain. Finally, if you’re an undeclared student...good luck. My heart goes out to you.

 

2. Do you have a job at school?

Again, maybe this question doesn’t freak you out if you’re happy with your employment situation. But if you recently quit your job, haven’t had time to apply, or haven’t broken the news to your parents that your “dream job” actually turned out to be the worst and sucked all the life out of you and made you cry all the time and you want to quit, you may want to consider having these important conversations before you have a seat at the dinner table. Save yourself from the stress of making a tempting decision that may lead to regrets.

 

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3. What are your plans after school?

I am 100% in favor of a social experiment where a college student flips the tables and asks their relatives what they’re going to be doing in four years. (“What do you mean, you don’t know what you want, Aunt Susan?!”) But until a brave soul takes on this challenge for us, we’ll all just have to plan on a well-intentioned, honest discussion about the future being a part of our night. For me, I usually receive thoughtful advice and leave feeling reassured and supported. But there is also the possibility of leaving with more questions and self-doubt. Dialogue about the future can strengthen your passion for whatever you’re doing and redirect your purpose. Staying grounded in your beliefs while still remaining open to dialogue will help you on Thanksgiving‒or during Hanukkah or New Year’s or another holiday‒and in the long run.

I wish you the happiest of holidays: meaning, being the happiest you can be given the stressful circumstances you may be under. Make an effort to be present and patient with the people who care about you. Remember that most people have good intentions. You can choose to take the advice you receive during the holidays lightly, and still learn a lesson.

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