Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Holiday Season 101: Handling Awkward Conversations

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which means a break from classes, mountains of mashed potatoes and enough uncomfortable conversations to last a whole year. While it’s nice to get together with family and friends who we haven’t seen, every holiday gathering is sure to come with some social awkwardness.

To avoid self-imploding and/or starting a family feud, prepare yourself with responses to the following questions:

1. How’s school?

What you want to say: School is the bane of my existence. I have panic attacks weekly. I’m eternally exhausted. I’m always behind no matter how much time I spend on work. I survive on ramen noodles and 99-cent Arizona iced tea. I’m broke, tired and sad.

What you should say: School is so great! College is a blast! This is the best four years of my life! Why, yes, it’s totally worth the tens of thousands of dollars my parents and I have invested!

2. Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

What you want to say: No, Aunt Betty, I do not have a significant other. I didn’t have one last year and I probably won’t have one next year. Half the people in this room will probably be dead by the time I find someone to put up with me. Thank you for reminding me of my loneliness.

What you should say: I’m still single, but by choice! I’m just so busy with all my goals and ambitions, I don’t have time for a relationship right now! (Prepare a list of said goals and ambitions that you may or may not have, just in case there’s a follow up question.)

3. What are your plans for after graduation?

What you want to say: If it’s okay with you, I’d like to enjoy the little time I have left in high school/college and not think about the impending black hole of responsibilities, debt and work that is called adulthood. In other words, I have no plans and I’m in denial that I’m graduating.

What you should say: Of course I have it all figured out! *Insert some BS explanation of all your wildest dreams and career aspirations to please your nosey relatives who don’t know what else to talk to you about here*

4. How’s the job search coming?

What you want to say: At this rate, I’ll probably be working my summer job for the rest of eternity. I can totally live off minimum wage and handle terrible hours, right?

What you should say: Nothing is set in stone yet, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be receiving an offer soon.

5. “Well… (insert name here) just accomplished this awesome thing!”

What you want to say: Yeah, I heard he got married. And she had a kid. And they got engaged. And she scored that awesome job right out of college. And he’s getting his graduate degree. And she’s single handedly solving world hunger. But can any of them finish an entire series of Netflix in one day? I think not.

What you should say: Oh, that’s such great news! I’m so genuinely happy and this smile is so not forced at all. Ha ha.

Finally: Do not, under any circumstance, bring up the election. And the food? It’s always delicious, even if the turkey is dry, the rolls are rock hard and there’s not enough butter on the potatoes. If worse come to worst, there will probably be alcohol at this shindig, and wine doesn’t care about your personal life, political opinions or future plans.

The only thing your family should be fighting about this holiday season is who gets the last piece of pumpkin pie.

Courtney is a Pop Culture Blogger for Her Campus National and contributor to the Her Campus Marist College chapter. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, is an avid feminist and eventual professional journalist.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️