Give me a break

With the holiday season approaching, family needs to stay mindful of conversations about college to students



With Thanksgiving around the corner, It’s important to stay mindful about the college questions

“What colleges are you applying to?” 

“Are you thinking about where you want to go yet?” 

“Have you started working on your list yet?”

“That’s a very smart school.”  or “That’ll be a fun school.”

These are some of the worst and most commonly asked questions throughout my junior and senior years. 

Every time they’re asked, I try my best to just stay friendly and tell them, “I’m honestly not really sure yet,” but as I now hear these questions over and over and over, it’s getting harder to avoid them… It’s hard not to tell people to stop asking these questions and that I’m already going through enough personal stress and don’t want to be reminded of it at a family Thanksgiving. 

The frustration for me comes from the fact that it would be completely unacceptable to ask an adult personal details about their job like salary or anything regarding how they rank in their field or workplace. So why do they feel like they can dig into the prestige and academic levels of my colleges? 

I came to my uncle’s house for Thanksgiving expecting to see family and eat good food, not be reminded of the fact that I was going through one of the most stressful processes of my life so far. I understand that I haven’t seen these people since last year and they most likely don’t know what to talk about with me but college shouldn’t have to be the go-to conversation starter. 

Maybe asking me about the sport that I play or my friends or literally anything that’s going on in my life would be so much better. 

And this isn’t to say that my extended family would have to completely disregard the college situation but beside asking “how is applying to college going,” I can’t think of anything else to ask that isn’t just straight up annoying to hear. I’d literally rather hear the annual heated political discussion over that. 

Cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, family friends: avoid interrogating your cousins. Nieces, and grandkids  about college when there are so many different topics to discuss. They make teens feel as if they can never escape the constant stress that follows them from the college process. 

Just about every day and night students are reminded of the giant shadow of college applications from one person to another, so keep that in mind when bringing it up to someone who probably is on thanksgiving break, thinking they don’t have to worry about that stuff. 

Yes, some people most likely do want to talk about this, so asking, “can I ask you about college,” is a way better alternative to the basic, “how is college work going.”

I strongly recommend sticking with the awkward silence rather than bombarding students with the college questions.