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The Official Guide To Surviving Family Gatherings During Winter Break

So you're home for the holidays, and your Great Aunt Margie is bombarding you with nosy questions again. How do you deal? College is a journey, so let us help you out with some conversation tips. Sponsored by Capital One Journey Student Card.


If you’ve picked one out: “Yes, Aunt Margie, I have! I’m learning a lot and school is fun.” You then quickly begin eating your green bean casserole, so Auntie Marge will move on to your younger brother Tony.

If you haven’t picked one out: “No, Aunt Margie, I’m still trying to figure it out.” Try and talk about the classes that you enjoy, but don’t tell her you’re not considering being a doctor anymore. Compliment her on her new Christmas sweater, and try to get her to start talking to your cousin Sally.


If you actually are: Good for you! That will shut her up and make her beam. (If it doesn’t shut her up, direct her to Uncle Fred, and she’ll brag about your major to him.)

If you aren’t: If your major is business or finance, she’ll probably still think highly of you. If it’s art history or theater, just try to change the subject as soon as possible. Talk about the weather if you need to.

Aunt Margie already knows that your major is sociology


If you want her to get tired and fall asleep: Rant about the values of a liberal arts education, and how college is a time to open one’s mind to different view points.

The quick answer: I’m going to be a professor. (She will accept that answer because she thinks it’s prestigious.)


If you have plans/a job/something: Tell her your plans. She’ll be happy you are going to something in this economy.

If you don’t know: Tell her you’re keeping your options open. Don’t tell her you’re thinking of joining the circus. Compliment her on her pumpkin pie. (Even if it’s awful.)


Funny response: Smile at her and stick a cookie in your mouth.

Perhaps give her a glass of sherry and hope that she falls asleep next to Uncle Bob later.


Tell her that she should be glad that you don’t have any kids yet.

Or better yet… tell her that you are too busy with schoolwork that you couldn’t possibly be in a relationship with someone right now!

If all else fails, go eat at the kid’s table. All cousin Sammy will want to know is if he can play with your iPhone. (Don’t let him. His fingers are grubby.)