If you’re a freshman, Thanksgiving break will probably be the first time that you have gone home since spreading your wings, leaving the nest, and other cliche bird metaphors. Bottom line, it’s your first time going back home since becoming a cool, collegiate co-ed. While it is a time of
tense joyous reunions, familial bickering bonding, excessively lengthy heartfelt “why I’m thankful” speeches, etcetera, it is also a veritable minefield of potentially disastrous conversations.
If at all possible, make sure to avoid the following potential conversations:
1) Explaining hookup culture to Grandma.
If your grandmother is anything like mine, she doesn’t give a flying fig about what classes you’re taking, or how you’ve been getting involved around campus — the first and only question she will ask you during your lengthy meal together is whether you have a boyfriend.
And, as it turns out, she really doesn’t want to hear about how the times have changed, and how, nowadays, dating (“going steady” in grandma terminology) is really a less and less common occurrence. She definitely does not want to be further told how relationships are now most often exclusively physical and most likely going nowhere near marriage. No, I’d just stick to a simple “Not yet, grandma. But it’s my first priority, of course!”
2) Betraying to your nerdy uncle that you haven’t gotten a Star Wars ticket.
Uncle _____ will be OUTRAGED if he finds out that you haven’t yet secured your tickets for the midnight showing of The Force Awakens. He got his tickets month ago, and already knows which jedi he’s going to dress up as for the show. Don’t cause him this emotional distress; if he asks, you Fandango-ed tickets weeks ago and have already ordered your Bobba Fett mask.
3) Telling the members of that conservative wing of your family how you’ve been feeling the Bern.
It’s all fun and games until the “Capitalism Cures” pamphlets start rolling into your inbox en masse. True story.
4) Calling your Grandfather out on his blatant sexism.
I’m sorry grandpa, but I am TWO YEARS OLDER than cousin Jack. So why is it that you’re practically pouring whiskey down his throat? I’m not saying I wish it was me, because Jack looks pretty uncomfortable, and getting drunk with the extended family isn’t high on my to-do list, but that doesn’t mean I don’t resent the gender bias.
5) Broaching curfew with your parents.
This is a delicate time; you have become accustomed to a certain level of freedom in college, yet you live under your parent’s roof, and are again subject to their rules when you come home. It’s stressful for all involved, so I’d say just avoid the topic at all costs, and hope the issue isn’t forced. If you absolutely must have the discussion, I suggest nodding solemnly, emphatically agreeing with whatever they propose, and coming home whenever you want. They’ll be asleep by 9:30 p.m. anyways. I haven’t tried it personally, but I can’t imagine it going over anything other than wonderfully.
Despite the mines that needs dodging, I’d still endeavor to avoid:
Going home is going to be great; family, friends, non-Ratty food (the latter, at the very least, should be unquestionably positive). And even if that’s not the case, you’ll be back to Brown and curfew-less in no time!