The holidays are rapidly approaching and while college students are looking forward to a break from academics, they have to prepare for a different kind of test — one of survival rather than merit.
With holiday celebrations come family events and an onslaught of uncomfortable and typically unwelcome questions and conversations. Although tough at times, Marquette students have found ways to make it through.
Go to family events prepared
Elaina Bedford, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said that students who anticipate hearing the same questions from a dozen or more relatives can try to simplify the process for everyone.
“Prepare little fact cards for all the annoying questions,” Bedford said. “When they start to ask, ‘Where do you go to school? What are you studying? Do you have a boyfriend yet?’ you can just hand them the card and move on.”
As a fail-safe, she also suggested having a bottle of wine handy to calm everyone’s nerves.
Prepare a story
“Whenever adults ask you what your post-graduation plans are (unless you have an actual plan), tell them you are thinking about law school,” Tess Thompson, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “You won’t be lying because even if you aren’t considering law school as a career path, you are technically thinking about it while in those tricky conversations. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Thompson also suggested basing any fake people in your stories off of your favorite characters from books or movies.
“When your aunt asks you about any boyfriends, give her a description of the main character in your favorite novel,” Thompson said. “It’s enough detail and easy to remember what you told her in case others start asking.”
Wear stretchy pants
Thanksgiving is it a convenient mental break before finals, but students get to share their thanks for something most colleges lack — a hearty, homemade meal. This delicious food is also a treat over Christmas break.
Thompson said students should wear their most comfortable trousers when heading to the feast.
“You will have to deal with annoying family members no matter what holiday or whose family you are with,” Thompson said. “But if you wear stretchy pants, you won’t have to deal with your pants suffocating you.”
Be wary of political conversations
In light of recent events, it is likely that politics will come up at least once at a family event. Some suggest maintaining an open mind. Audra Stasiukevicius, a senior in the College of Engineering, takes a different approach.
“As far as political conversations go, I like the ‘get up and walk away’ method whenever there’s the slightest mention of the election,” Stasiukevicius said. “Better yet, I might make it into a drinking game. But no matter what I can’t get too tipsy because I can’t reveal to my grandmother who I voted for.”