Survival Guide for Seniors at the Thanksgiving Table

I smell the pies. The baking spices. The turkey. Oh that turkey. Smell the…fear? Wait, why do I smell fear? It might be the number of relatives I sense walking up behind me. No they aren’t walking. They’re running. Why are they running? Here it comes. The questions.

“Where are you applying?”

“Where are you going to college next year?”

“What’s your number one school?”

“Have you heard back yet?”

“What are you going to study?”

“Are you sure you’re going to get in?”

If you are a senior applying to colleges, this story might be a small glimpse into the Thanksgiving you’re about to walk into. Consider yourself warned, take a breath and read on…

First, let’s be honest…we are with our loved ones. For better for worse remember that questions really do come from a good place. Really. So gear yourself up with some light breathing exercises and a few common statements to get you through dinner and hopefully dessert.

Second, flip the convo. People LOVE talking about themselves. Ask your Aunt Rosie about her life in high school and how she was able to meet up with her friends on the quad without texting to ensure they’d actually show up. Ask Uncle Rob about college life and how he wound up in medical sales. Not only are you bound to learn something new, but it can be quite a relief to hear that everyone’s path is a little wonky…and that’s okay.

Third, don’t check your apps. Have this day. Be thankful that soon it’ll be over and you’ll be battling this new beast called Senioritis.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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