Inevitable Family Holiday Questions and Ways to Respond to Them

So, you’re sitting on the couch, winding down at the end of the night. The official end of Thanksgiving 2018. There’s a pool of apple pie and vanilla ice cream settling in the pit of your stomach and you watch your intoxicated family members chat over their final sips of wine and beer. You think about the highs and lows of this year’s festivities. You think about the extraordinary amount of food you consumed over the course of the day. You’re exhausted. Everyone’s exhausted. Little cousins are falling asleep. Dishes are being washed. It’s almost over. Bottom of the seventh. Final Quarter. Last minutes of the second half. And you almost - almost - reached the finale without being asked about things a college student never wants to be asked about by a relative...until Aunt Karen. Or Uncle Ray. Or Pop. Or whoever dares to try you as you feel like a pregnant woman with swollen ankles, a full belly, and a worsening headache.


There are multiple questions we don’t want to hear over break. These include, but are not limited to: “Are you seeing anyone?”, “What’s your major?”, “Have you thought about what you want to do after college?”, and “What kinds of things do you do at college?”. Let’s face it. These questions are inevitable. Especially when we all have that one relative that doesn’t know their boundaries or constantly has to be in everyone else’s business. This Thanksgiving, instead of choosing passive aggressive phrases to respond to these questions, we, intellectuals, should outsmart our family members by strategically ducking their questions. Now, a new question may arise. How, exactly, do we duck someone’s question face-to-face? Great question. I have prepared some responses that you could use this fall break to respectfully answer your relatives’ questions without sounding naive, passive-aggressive, or revealing personal details about your life that you do not wish to disclose to Auntie Carol. The key is sarcasm and smoothly steering the conversation in another direction.


Question: “Are you seeing anyone?”

Possible Answer 1: You know, Uncle Kevin, I actually have a huge workload this semester and am in so many campus activities that I simply don’t have time for college boys.

Possible Answer 2: I see my friends all the time, thanks for asking.


Question: “What’s your major?”

Possible Answer 1: I’ve been taking a lot of different classes and learning in all fields of study so that I keep my options open. I really loved my [insert class here] this semester. My professor was very passionate.

Possible Answer 2: Well, Gammy, I heard that you had two majors when you were at [insert university here] back in the day. What were they again?


Question: “Have you thought about what you want to do after college?”

Possible Answer 1: Gale, I love Miami. I do. Sometimes, I just never want to leave, but I need to. I need to grow up. It’s hard to let things go. Remind me - how did you quit smoking again?

Possible Answer 2: I’m in the research process right now, working with my advisors and professors. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.


Question: “What kinds of things do you do at college?”

Possible Answer 1: *flashback to pregaming and bars and frat parties* I have a lot of girl’s nights. Movies and fast food and that kind of thing.

Possible Answer 2: I can’t get enough of the sports games, Lawrence. Go RedHawks!