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How to Avoid the Holiday “College Conversation”

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How to Avoid the Holiday “College Conversation”

The holidays are usually a time when your extended family begins showing up around the house. They don’t always bring gifts, but they’ll always have questions.

They know you’re nearing the end of high school, and they’ll all be curious to hear how your college search is going. Unfortunately for you, this can mean answering the same questions again and again to each interested in-law, uncle, and grandparent!

Sure, you want to keep everyone informed about what you’re up to, but that’s more talking than you were prepared for this year! Here’s how to enjoy your Christmas break in peace.

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1. Ask your relatives about their own lives

Yes, they’re interested in what’s new and exciting in your life, but everyone is really the most interested in themselves! If you think the college question is coming, quickly ask your uncle what’s new before he has a chance to open his mouth.

Relatives will be happy for the opportunity to tell an interested listener all about what’s new and exciting for them. You’ll hear something about the new car, how he taught the dog a new trick, why she joined an environmental group, or something random like that.

While these may not be the most interesting things for you to hear about, you’ll at least be able to excuse yourself when they finish and get back to whatever you were doing!

2. Spend time with younger relatives

While your uncles and aunts may want to hear all of the details of your college search, your cousins probably don’t care about the subject at all. When you’re hanging out with family members your own age or younger, it’s unlikely that the college conversation will come up -- and if it does it won’t come in the form of an endless stream of pointed questions!

Family members who are younger than you might be curious about college and ask you for advice, but this conversation is usually enjoyable because you’re able to impart wisdom instead of sitting through an interrogation!

3. Plan a short answer

For your sanity, you want to avoid the college conversation as much as possible. However, it is going to come up from time to time. When this happens, you’ve got to find a way to keep the conversation short so that it doesn’t take up your entire evening.

Plan three or four points that you know your relatives want to hear about, and have these ready when they ask “How’s your college search going?” A quick, 30-second answer that covers the schools you’re applying to, your favorite, and what majors you’re looking into can help bring the conversation to a close almost as quickly as it came up!

[Alternatively, here's how to use the holdiays to get intel for you college essay.]

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Written by Nicolaus Jannasch

Are you curious about earning money while traveling? If you want to connect with Nico, ask questions, and learn more about his experience you can find his latest blog posts at NicoJannasch.com, say hello on Twitter, or ‘Like’ his Facebook page

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