Navigating Questions When Home for the Holidays

By: Audrey Taylor

Going home for the holidays and seeing family is always exciting and fun. Relatives you do not see very often are bound to be curious about your current college experience at Ohio State. While there might be a cousin or two you trust with everything, you may find yourself avoiding some topics in conversation with certain relatives. For example, I will not be mentioning to my grandma how I have taken frequent advantage of the electric scooters here on campus. This is unless I want to listen to a 30-minute lecture on the dangers of the scooters followed by urges to stop using them.

Overall, questions from relatives can be intimidating and you may be put on the spot. Therefore, it is beneficial to know how to purposefully respond, or else the moment may cause stress.

Navigating Questions When Home for the Holidays


If your relatives are anything like mine, they want to see you succeed in all aspects of school. They may joke about missing class here and there back in their days, but they ultimately want you to study for exams, earn good grades, and prepare for life after college.

None of us are perfect and it is a given that not every exam can be aced. If you recently have gotten a bad score on something, it is okay, and you do not have to share that with relatives over the holidays. Instead, focus on what you have genuinely enjoyed learning this semester relating to your major/minor. Talk about a paper/project you were extremely proud of, regardless of the grade you received. Additionally, talk about the work you have done in major-related clubs such as the PRactice or PRSSA.

Studying strategic communication, you learn that many people outside of the major do not understand what it is and how it can be used. This may be the same for relatives who are wary of your potential career outlook in the field. Although this is sincere because they worry and care about you, being confident and knowledgeable about what you are studying is essential. If you need some ideas, you can refer to What To Do With A Communication Degree?.

Love Life & Friends

Since we all know family members tend to be nosy, there are some optimal responses to questions about your love life at college. It is best to not mention the names of anyone you are maybe informally seeing or talking to because relatives will inevitably pry with more questions. Along with the names, do not explain any romantic situations either. This is because some relatives do not understand the abstractness of dating in this generation, and you do not want to be the one to explain it to them. Say you are happy single until you are in an official relationship.

As we all know, ever-lasting memories with our best friends are made in the college years. Rather than incriminating yourself, stick to funny stories about good times. Talk about the craziness of game days, how your roommate experience is going, and show them some decent pictures. Despite family members’ intrusive interest in what you have been up to in your free time, their main priority is that you are happy and healthy. In all, use the approaching holiday season to take time and valuably catch up with family members. Ask them questions as well! Do not overanalyze these conversations too heavily, just be cognizant you will probably be questioned about the semester. Share the honest content you feel comfortable to and have a great holiday season!

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