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Thanksgiving survival guide

The holidays are a time meant for college students to unwind from the stresses of school, not have to do their own laundry and finally experience normal shower water pressure again. However, going home for a holiday break always seems to entail more dread than we’re prepared for.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, The Scout staff pooled together to create our comprehensive guide to surviving going home for the holidays.

Below you’ll find helpful tips and tricks from how to maximize your food consumption to the best ways to avoid lengthy conversations with relatives you barely remember the name of.

When it comes to heading home:

  • Have your headphones packed and your favorite playlist downloaded, whether you’re flying or driving.
  • If possible, always bring home your dirty laundry. There’s no better time to clean your entire closet than when the washer isn’t coin or Quick Cash operated and you don’t have to over-dry all of your belongings.
  • Before heading off, always check your bag one last time for the basics that may not be at home: toothbrush, hair dryer, lucky underwear, etc. You catch my drift.

When it comes to food:

  • Always wear an outfit that has some wiggle room. Whether it’s your loosest pair of dress pants or leggings for more casual celebrations, you know two things are inevitable: you are going to eat too much food and your relatives are going to choose the exact moment you’re considering unbuttoning your pants to want a family photo. Wearing loose clothes from the start ensures you look good before and after the impending food coma.
  • Bring some extra sweatshirts or cardigans if you can, because there’s bound to be spillage. Nothing covers up a gravy stain like a change of clothes.
  • If you’re vegan or vegetarian, make sure you’ve communicated with the host of your holiday plans. And just in case, pack your own dish for fear that people forget your accommodations and leave you sitting with merely a plate of carrots while everyone else dives in.
  • As the broke college students that most of us are, we have to rely on these holiday meals long after Black Friday, so be sure to have a way to get those goods home that won’t let them spoil.

When it comes to relatives:

  • First things first, don’t even leave your room if what you’re wearing won’t pass the grandma-approval rating. Save your V-necks or graphic band tees for some other time, because they will only be one more thing your family can complain about.
  • Patience, dear Padawan. These people are bound to test you, but you have to keep your cool, even when your uncle wants to analyze the mid-term elections.
  • Have pre-planned answers to those tiresome questions, including “Why are you single?” and “What are your future plans?” Don’t forget to have those diversion topics, such as Ariana Grande’s latest song, Oscar-nominated movies or local drama.

When there’s downtime:

  • We said this is the time to relax, but don’t forget to grab some homework in case there’s too much free time on your hands. Plus, it’s a great excuse to not have to join in on any family discussions.
  • Have a book, game on your phone or any other form of entertainment on hand at all gatherings. Especially if all of your cousins either sit at the adult table or can’t feed themselves, because when there’s no in-between you’ve got to do whatever it takes to stave off boredom. 
  • Make plans with those hometown friends you haven’t seen in a while, because it’s not only a great time to catch up, but a perfect excuse to get out of the house when the festivities have died down or when you’ve just had enough.
  • Take advantage of the change in scenery. Whether that means going for a run around your childhood neighborhood or taking a drive windows down with your favorite throwback songs, there’s something about getting away that can either make you thankful for the break or remind you how good you have it back on campus. 

We hope this list helps you get through this holiday season with as little stress as possible. If there’s anything we’ve missed, tweet us your addition to @ScoutVoiceDesk and let us know!

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