BY CAROLINE POWELL
It’s shocking to think that Thanksgiving break is less than two weeks away. Although getting away from school for a little bit will be nice, sometimes being surrounded by family you haven’t seen in a long time can be more stressful than relaxing.
The holiday season is all about being surrounded by people you love. That isn’t to say that sometimes the people we love don’t drive us mad. To make sure you have a great break, I’ve prepared a few tips that may help you prepare for the invasive questions, awkward remarks and repeated responses.
1. Hit the main points all at once. Tell everyone at the same time that school is great, classes are hard but manageable and you’re still single (if you aren’t single, say your partner is doing great). Get all of this out of the way immediately to avoid saying the same thing 10 times in the span of 20 minutes.
2. Have your own conversation starters ready. If tension arises at the dinner table this Thanksgiving because your uncle just brought up his political beliefs, be prepared to switch gears. Ask about your niece’s sports tournaments or what everyone is doing for New Year’s Eve, or even start a friendly debate about separating colors when washing your clothes. Anything to get your uncle to stop talking about the economy and whose fault it is.
3. Turn it back on them. Look, our families have good intentions. They don’t realize that maybe the dinner table is not the best place to ask when you are going to settle down with a good person. If this happens, ask them about how their marriage is going. They’ll more than likely realize that this isn’t something you want to be asked at the moment.
4. Practice your poker face. It’s crucial to make sure no one can tell that you want to spit out the mush of peas you’ve just swallowed. Make sure to practice in the mirror beforehand and have your indecipherable reactions ready so you don’t hurt your cousin’s feelings.
5. Dress to impress. I will never forget when my mom asked me why I was wearing sweatpants to Thanksgiving dinner. My younger self didn’t understand why I had to dress up to eat at the dining table I see everyday, but I think I get it now. Make sure to avoid any such comments by dressing appropriately. Your mom will appreciate it.
6. Pass time by sleeping on the couch. Before dinner, just expect that the guests aren’t leaving until at least one in the morning. No one ever leaves right after eating. Sometimes it’s important to give yourself a quick break. If you can’t lock yourself in your room, just drift off to sleep amid the crowd of your family. No one will notice right away, but expect pictures of you sleeping to be posted on Facebook later.
7. Come with games! This is just something fun to do with your friends and family either before or after dinner. Jenga, UNO or even Cards Against Humanity can be fun to play with older relatives. Not only will games get rid of any tension – they will also create great laughs and memories with everyone around you.
Remember, the holiday season is all about coming together and celebrating with each other. Even if some family members give you a hard time or stress you out, you might not get to see them a lot throughout the year, so relax and focus on having a good time with them. Plus, make sure to enjoy a break from the busy semester!