The college student’s survival guide to a post-election Thanksgiving

And you thought the worst that could happen was someone asking about your GPA

Tensions are high following the insanity that has been the 2016 presidential election. No matter your political beliefs, we can all anticipate the impending drama of Thanksgiving. With days spent with family of different ages and opinions, there’s bound to be some political arguments between the parade-watching and tryptophan-induced naps. This is your full guide to making it through the Clinton and Trump-bashing family scream fest alive.


Step one: changing the subject

We’ve all dreaded the typical questions you get from distant relatives at every family reunion: “How are you doing in school?” “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”. This year, these questions can be your one safe haven.

The moment Trump’s name is mentioned, shout out: “Dad, did I ever tell you about how I failed my bio midterm?” or “Grandma, let me tell you all about my new boyfriend! He’s 36 and only wears leather because he says it compliments his face tattoos and eyebrow piercings!” The further your lie is from the 4.0 GPA and academically-focused boyfriend your family hopes for, the better. Trust me, the shock and anger that will ensue from your lies will be nothing in comparison to the pain of hearing a screaming match between your liberal aunt and conservative grandpa about Trump’s presidency.

Step two: escape while you have the chance!

Someone forgot to bring the pie again. It happens every year – the one family member who was supposed to bring dessert, the one family member who asserts Thanksgiving is ruined if they don’t have pie, and the final disgruntled family member who makes the run to the nearest open grocery store to buy a pie. Volunteer to be the third person.

Buying the pie gives you at least 20 minutes to escape the drama. When you go into the store, make sure to buy two pies. Eat one by yourself in your car while you muster up the strength to go back to dinner. You’ve earned it.


Step three: the kid’s table

When you were forced to sit there, you always wanted to be able to graduate and sit with the adults. If the election has taught you anything, it’s that adults are just as childish – and somehow more opinionated – than actual children. At every opportunity, go join the kid’s table. Make mountains out of mashed potatoes and share your wisdom and insight on the latest Spongebob episode while the adults argue it out at the big table.

Step four: too much tryptophan

Instead of engaging in political discussions, go straight for the turkey. Then if anyone wants to talk to you about your take on Clinton’s loss, you can easily pretend you’ve been completely exhausted and need to sleep immediately. Excuse yourself and hide in the nearest bedroom to snapchat your like-minded friends. Be prepared to pretend to be napping if anyone comes looking for you.

Step five: mashed potatoes

So you’re hiding from your family in the guest bedroom. At this point, you’re undoubtedly worn out and wishing you had some more Thanksgiving dinner to eat in the peace of bed.

Wait until there’s a big play in the Thanksgiving football game, and make a run for the kitchen while everyone is distracted. Take the bowl of mashed potatoes and run back to the bedroom before anyone realizes you’re gone. Indulge in pounds of mashed potatoes in bed. Bonus: the warm bowl will heat up your blanket, enveloping you in a toasty burrito of solitude.

Step six: Black Friday preparations

It’s been a long day. It’s time to escape your house. Gather up the camping equipment that’s been sitting in the back of the garage for years, and head to your nearest Walmart. Camp outside overnight with everyone waiting for the doors to open on Black Friday. You just have to hope no one asks you: “What’s your opinion on Trump?”


William & Mary: College of William and Mary