Let’s talk about Christmas carols, not college majors

Bess Tiller, Opinion Editor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, minus your family hounding you about your future. Coming from an opinionated family, the holidays can sometimes be a tad stressful.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, each Christmas dinner has always closed with a question led by my grandfather, asking what our goals are for the upcoming year. During my Mom’s freshman year in college she answered with, “I just want to go out and party as much as I can,” and she still hasn’t lived it down.

As a senior and with tons of decisions to make in the next few months, I’m sure many can relate to the dread I’m feeling coming off of Thanksgiving, a mere warmup for what is to come this holiday season.

Nico Avila (’18) knows exactly what I’m talking about. “I have relatives from my Mom’s side of the family that want me to go to Penn State, and my Dad wants me to go to [University of] Maryland,” he said.

My aunt, who graduated from Frostburg University, told me how she doesn’t want me to become “a stuck up Southern girl” when I attend Auburn University next year. The best part about this is both of her sons graduated from Clemson University, one of which is marrying a Clemson graduate this May who was born and raised in South Carolina.

However, at least I know where I’m going. “When I tell [my family] I don’t know where I’m going yet, I will get a dirty look [in return],” said Jon Wancowicz (’18).

Still, the questions keep coming. Just because I know I want to be somewhere warm with a big football program does not mean I know what I want to major in, a huge decision that I will need to make in the near future.

I will have my uncle, who is in sales, tell me I would be great in marketing. My grandparents, who subscribe to the Harbinger, will tell me to pursue writing. I understand my family is interested and mostly supportive of my decisions, but nothing is more frustrating than getting put on the spot. I’ll be sure to value every opinion, even that of those who went to college 40 years ago.

A classic story in my family is the interaction my cousin had with his other grandmother. He was approached with the question: “where are you thinking for college next year?” Before he could even answer, she followed up with “Let’s hope not Penn State,” disgusted with the school following the Sandusky Scandal. What made this situation ironic was that he had already decided to go to Penn State and did end up attending.

I’d be a lot more excited to tell my family about how track is going or the outfits I’ve already gotten for game day. In return, I would love nothing more than a simple, “that’s awesome” or “I’m so happy for you.”

Seniors, you are not alone in this stress; best of luck this holiday season. I can’t wait for the conversation that strikes up at Christmas this year after my family reads this article.