Next week most Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving. In the upcoming holiday season, you will likely end up spending time with lots of family. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve seen Grandma and Grandpa, or Uncle Mike and the cousins. What are you going to talk about? Most experts advise that politics is off the table, and you can only talk about the weather for so long. Don’t be surprised if the guests turn their attention to you and your college plans. What are your plans after you graduate, what colleges will you apply to, what will you major in, etc.? You may or may not have answers to these questions – so how do you deal?
- Share – or not. Share as much information as you’d like, or don’t. It’s likely that you are still sorting out the details so it’s ok to say “I’m not sure yet.” You’ve started the process, you are thinking about your choices, but you still have plenty of time to make decisions.
- Get ready for unsolicited advice. Expect everyone and anyone to have an opinion about what you should do next. Go to college, don’t go, take a year off, major in computer science or underwater basket weaving. Ask about their experience – what did they like and what would they do differently. It takes the pressure off of you and you might get a new perspective. But also take other’s advice with a grain of salt. Uncle Mike may have had “the best years of his life at OSU!”, but that doesn’t mean you should rethink your preference for a small liberal arts college. Trust your instincts because ultimately it should be your decision.
Once you are through with being the topic of conversation, take it upon yourself to change the subject. Ask a fun question that anyone can answer – “If you had an extra hour in every day, how would you spend it?” or “If you were a pair of shoes, what type of shoes would you be?” Ask about travel, movies, the best food on the table… but whatever you do, don’t ask who they’ll be voting for next year. Just trust me on that.