6 tips for surviving Thanksgiving with your family


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Many college students will be heading home for Thanksgiving, but holiday break doesn’t always go as planned.

By Brionna Belcher, Managing Editor

Thanksgiving is almost here, and many students will be heading home to spend time with their friends and family. Being back with your family can be challenging after spending so much time apart, so here are some tips on how to make your time at home go as smoothly as possible.

Set boundaries 

If you’re going to visit some family that you haven’t seen in a while, they’ll likely have a lot of questions for you. They might want to know if you have a significant other, how classes are going and what you hope to do after college. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about something, don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Politely tell them that you don’t want to talk about that or simply redirect the conversation.

Try to avoid politics

It’s common to form new opinions while you’re at college. If your political views no longer align with your family’s, it’s best to avoid talking about politics. However, this is easier said than done. If your family insists on talking about politics, try to at least keep these conversations away from the dinner table. In large groups, it’s easy for a conversation to turn into a big argument.


Between last year’s election and the pandemic, someone is sure to have an opinion that you don’t agree with. The best thing to do is listen to what they’re saying and try to understand why they feel the way they do. You don’t have to agree, but remember that everyone has feelings, and a little respect can go a long way. If they feel heard, they might be more open to listening to your views too. 

Put down your phone

It can be tempting to spend your break scrolling through TikTok. Instead, focus on being present. Quality time with your family can be hard to come by in college, so don’t waste this opportunity to engage with family and make some memories. There’ll be plenty of time to spend on social media when you get back to campus. 

Be understanding

It might be hard for your family to accept that you’ve grown up. You’ve spent all semester doing whatever you want, whenever you want. But don’t be surprised if your parents treat you like you’re still in high school. Adjusting to change is hard for everyone, and Thanksgiving break only lasts a couple of days. Try to be understanding, rather than spending the entire break arguing about something as miniscule as a curfew. 

Reconnect with friends

Your childhood friends will probably be in town for Thanksgiving. Take this opportunity to hang out with people that you haven’t seen in a while. Your family will want to spend as much time with you as possible, but they’ll understand if you go out for an evening to spend time with old friends.