How to Survive Awkward Family Parties

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The holiday season is always the perfect time of year to lounge around binge-watching Netflix, take advantage of home cooked meals and attend as many family holiday parties as can be jammed into three weeks.

What? That last one doesn’t sound too fun.

Admittedly, family parties this time of year can be stressful, as you’ll likely find yourself deflecting questions left and right about your major and life plans from relatives you didn’t even know existed.

The worst thing you can possibly do in such a situation is be unprepared. If you find yourself stumbling over your words as you try and tell your Uncle Jim about Georgetown’s social scene, then you may want to keep reading as 4E presents the best ways to answer relatives’ awkward questions this holiday season.

Imagine this: you’re at a family party, minding your own business, sipping on some non-alcoholic eggnog and enjoying a festive holiday cookie.

Things are going pretty well, you’ve made some rounds and managed to avoid any super uncomfortable encounters so far. You feel like you’re in the clear when all of a sudden you hear your name being called loudly from across the room. Your palms begin to sweat as you slowly turn and see your mom’s third cousin twice removed wildly waving her arms in an attempt to flag you down. Sheer terror crosses your face as you realize it’s too late, she’s spotted you.  After a customary awkward greeting the interrogation begins…

You know, when I was your age, I was already engaged. Any prospects for you?

Yeah, I’m really hitting things off with [insert roommate’s name here]. We’re basically inseparable, so inseparable that we’re living together. We have a lot of the same interests, I mean we both agree that sloths are really weird animals. Plus, no one understands my eternal love of Eat & Joy pizza after a really late night quite like my roomie. I really think I’m in this one for the long haul!

Have you decided on a major yet? You don’t really have a lot of time left to decide!

I’m actually more of a free spirit so I don’t really think it’s necessary to make such definitive plans. I’ll just go with the direction of the wind and see where I end up. Nothing is really permanent anyway. You should understand where I’m coming from, right? Weren’t you at Woodstock?

How’s the social scene? I remember all my crazy times back in college!

When I’m not in the library studying, I sit quietly in my room all day waiting for my professors to assign more work. There’s really no time to be crazy in college anymore these days, things must have really changed…

So do you know what you plan on doing after graduation?

Yup, I know exactly what I’m going to be doing. After finding the cure for cancer, I plan on personally building a spaceship to take me to Mars. I’ll then use my new spaceship to get off of this planet in order to avoid any future awkward encounters with you. And hey, if this plan ever fails, I’ve always got my parents’ basement as a backup!

[Insert any question that takes you by surprise].

Quickly shove as many holiday cookies as possible into your mouth and start mumbling a response.  Pretend to choke on the cookies so you can quickly excuse yourself and hide for the remainder of the party. 

Best of luck this holiday season, Hoyas!

Photos/Gifs: survivingcollege.com, howlatthemoon.com, tumblr.com; kanyetothe.com

Catherine McNally

Catherine McNally

Catherine is 4E's former Senior Editor and a senior in the NHS from the great city of Believeland. While some may affectionately refer to the aforementioned city as the “Mistake by the Lake”, she remains insistent that it’s a pretty cool place. Her hobbies include laughing at her own jokes, avoiding Lau at all costs and drinking from Epi’s unlimited supply of water.
Catherine McNally

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