The Lakeland Mirror

The college student’s comprehensive guide to surviving Thanksgiving

Karalee Manis, Copy Editor

The holiday known as Thanksgiving is creeping up on us and we all will have to do what we must to survive it.

There will be your family, possibly significant others and friends with which to contend.

Your grandma will want to know what you’ve been up to in school and you’ll have to remember to edit out the drinking and various shenanigans that you somehow managed to engage in while still attending all your classes (at least somewhat) regularly.

You will be expected to be civil to your siblings.

Before the nightmare begins, here are some vital survival tactics to ensure you come out of this holiday alive:

  1.      Avoid cooking at all costs.

This is when the pre-inquisition will begin. If you get roped into helping out in the kitchen, prove your incompetence and get the hell out of there.

  1.      The TV is your greatest ally.

Claim to be captivated by whatever Thanksgiving special you can find on TV. Tell your mother you need to watch it because you are learning so much. It doesn’t matter if it’s a History Channel special or a holiday-themed episode of “Family Guy,” you must watch it for your own sanity. Luckily, Netflix has 31 TV specials just waiting for you if, for whatever weird reason, you cannot find anything ‘important’ to watch on your parent’s version of cable TV.

  1.      Self, meet couch, your new best friend.

The couch – any couch or chair or bed – is calling out to you. I don’t care if you’re tired; if want to get out of whatever memory lane conversation is happening, you need to find the nearest couch and immediately pretend to be taking a nap. You can’t be pulled into any activity or your mom’s torturous retelling of the story of your first crush if you are asleep. Avoidance is key.

  1.      When the time comes, know what to do.

It has arrived: meal time. This you cannot get out of. The inquisition will inevitably start just as you slice into your turkey. Eat fast, become absorbed in only what you are eating and ignore the glares from your family for snubbing them. If you must be polite, tread lightly and keep the conversation trivial. You don’t want to be responsible for ruining Thanksgiving – again.

  1.      If all else fails, pretend.

Become the grand storyteller you’ve always known you could be. Lie. Play the part. If you are fortunate enough to be having this meal with people unrelated to you, hope the party ends with a bowl of keys being exchanged so you can not only steal someone else’s car, but also force that someone else to feel the utter gloom you are at having to attend this lovely (sham) holiday.

  1.      Leftovers.

Be honest, the only reason you showed up was so you could score some sweet leftovers to take back with you, as you rightly should. You endured the holiday, you deserve some hard-earned takeaways that aren’t damaging to your soul.

Best wishes on the survival of you all and remember, your mother’s hurt feelings will eventually fade, but your embarrassment from having your significant other see your naked baby pictures while your mom comments on your ‘cute little bum’ will last a lifetime.

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The college student’s comprehensive guide to surviving Thanksgiving