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How to manage holiday dinner conversations with family

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="460"][/caption] The holiday season is here and with it comes a long-anticipated winter break. Winter break, about three weeks long for Seton Hall University students, provides time away from work and class. It also offers a chance to see friends and family after a long time away from home. There are many perks to coming home, such as free laundry, home-cooked meals and sleeping in a bed that feels like a cloud. However, popular movies suggest that long period of time away from home warrants a lot of questioning from parents and extended family members during awkward family dinners. The common movie trope of having students being interrogated by parents is far from film fabrication. It seems that when students start to let their guards down, the questions start arising. One topic that students are not looking forward to is politics. Politics will always be a timely matter for discussion because the government is always working, but it may not so much be a discussion, but more of an argument amongst families. “I’m starting to hear opinions on campus from people that oppose the ones I’ve heard growing up from my parents,” John Ferry, a sophomore economic and philosophy major, said. Presently, politics are more prominent than usual, as gun control and the Syrian refugee situation have been hotly discussed as the 2016 Presidential election nears. “I don’t know how to do proper research and form my own opinion,” Ferry added. “My ignorance makes me hesitant.” A key aspect of college is grades and the parents that invest in students’ education surely want to know how their children are doing. “I’m worried because my grades this year do not really resemble how much work and effort I have put into my classes,” Sam Sellars, a freshman in the pathology elementary education program, said.  Another worrisome topic can be studying. Binita Patel, a freshman in the physician’s assistant program, said that when her parents ask how many times I went to New York, they really want to know how much studying she actually did.  Parents are starting to figure out less obvious ways to get those answers to what they deem the all-important questions. College students try to steer clear from the topic of relationships with their family. Some parents do not seem to understand privacy, and, as a result, ask and pester until an answer is finally given. The questions of whether or not there is a significant other in their life is awkward especially after being asked several times by multiple family members. Despite it being a time intended for joy, some students will dread as they come home for the first time during winter break because of these long conversational dinners. Zachary Wohl can be reached at


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