We are two days away from Thanksgiving Break. That means classes are not meeting for a week, and students are returning home to spend time with their families, indulge in rich food and watch gridiron football. For most students, it’s a chance to see loved ones and to catch up with old friends from high school. It’s also a wonderful time to relieve yourself of homesickness and anxiety.
Unfortunately, I don’t share these pretenses.
As the years progress and I spend more time living on my own, I find the experience of returning to my hometown in Connecticut to be insufferable. No amount of turkey or cranberry sauce is enough to help me endure the presence of aging, pompous relatives who spit out the same three questions: “Are you dating anybody?” “How’s school going?” “What do you want to do with your life?” Out of courtesy, I don’t say much, but the honest answers to these questions are as followed: “No,” “I’m still enrolled, so clearly school’s going well,” and “I don’t know, but I can assure you that you’ll probably not be involved.” It’s uncomfortable to be put in the spotlight by people who think they have your best interests. They see it as catching up, I see it as an interrogation. If I want to share my personal and college life with you, I’ll share it on my own time. Besides, if I’m not updating you on my day-to-day life, you should take that as a sign that you’re not worth my time.
Furthermore, considering that I’m old enough to rent a car, it’s annoying to see family because no amount of “adulting” will prevent me from being treated like a 7-year-old with half a brain. You can argue that family will always treat you as such, but I find that it gets degrading after a while.
It’s even more difficult to see your family when they’re completely closed-minded. It might sound cliché, but the discussion of politics at the dinner table is real, and as much as I want to hear about whose generation is destroying the country and which politicians are morons, I think I will give it a pass. It’s not worth trying to convey my views when they will only go over people’s heads.
The overindulgence and sports are Thanksgiving staples, but even those are beginning to lose their luster. I’m not referring to the food so much as I’m referring to the drink. Maybe it’s because I’ve personally had issues with alcohol and resent people who haven’t, but the idea of people drinking beer after beer after beer in one sitting is unattractive. Call me a prude all you want, but it turns my family into loud, incoherent jackasses. As for football, there’s nothing that I love more than watching a group of overpaid barges forfeit their day off to compete in matchups that I personally don’t care about. If anything, it’s a way to distance myself from the party so I can enjoy my meal in peace.
Then, there’s the attempt to reconnect with people and places from a past life. To all freshmen, you might learn that either you or your high school friends have changed dramatically in a short amount of time. College does that to you, because you’re exposed to new backgrounds and ideas and gain new interests. The faces that you were familiar with become foreign to you, and eventually, most of your friends will move away, both figuratively and literally. It’s a void that you’ll never refill no matter how much effort you put into it.
I’m not telling anyone to avoid going home during the break; that decision is up to you. Personally, however, I plan on spending most of the week taking advantage of all that is offered here in Vermont. Hell, with that amount of free time, I might explore Burlington or hangout on the slopes with the people that I’ve befriended up here. But as for devoting the week to family and “friends,” that’s not going to happen. I’ll probably drive down to Connecticut for Thanksgiving Day itself, but I assure you that I will not enjoy my time.