An Angsty Teen’s Guide to Thanksgiving


(Courtesy TotallyHistory) Freedom of Want by Norman Rockwell

Well, it’s that time of year again, Wolverines! Thanksgiving is this week which means most of us will be out of school, doing a lot of eating, and not doing a lot of school work. However, for a lot of us that also means seeing family—the obscure second cousins, aunts and uncles that pack up and endure a 13 hour drive in the minivan from some Midwestern state to your humble abode.

Understandably, this much social interaction is enough to send your angsty teen senses into overdrive. So I’ve compiled a list of how to survive Thanksgiving break when you’re just too cool to care—broken down by grade, of course.


  • First, a lot of your relatives probably won’t even remember that you graduated the 8th grade, as they marked the occasion with the classic “sending my niece some money with a card and it wasn’t her birthday or Christmas” move. So just go with the flow and tell them middle school is going a lot better than you had anticipated.
  • I’d also remember to savor these innocent years while you can, kids, because once the responsibilities start piling up, you’ll never hear the end of it. “Have you been accepted to college?” “What do you want to do in life?” “Why can’t you be one of those STEM kids and invent an app so I can retire early?”  You’ll hear all about that in the upperclassmen advice.


  • If the “can you drive yet?” queries didn’t spring up when you were a freshmen, most of them will come up this year, 10th graders! As soon as you reach the tender age of 15, you’ll constantly be reminded of how awesome it is that you get picked up from football games by your mom as your permit sits comfortably in your wallet, being the empty promise that it is.
  • The closest thing to the taste of freedom you can get is driving a mile to the library with your mom yelling from the passenger seat. But you decide not to tell grandma about this.
  • Do your best to explain to your uncle over a helping of mashed potatoes that driver’s education isn’t all it’s cut out to be, at least at your school. He’ll remind you of glory days and fun times in his high school parking lot, flooring it while his gym teacher clutched his clipboard. Meanwhile, you can tell him all about the packet you turned in late this week with fill in the blank pictures of road signs.


  • Ah, yes. The time has come, juniors. You might still be emotionally scarred from taking your first SAT in October, or maybe it’s the 5 APs, 2 honors classes and the club you’re in charge of.
  • But, the time has come for the college talk. The good news for you is that talking about your future for a mere second will probably cause indigestion.
  • At this point, you can skip the Thanksgiving feast for now and head up to your room where you should hide in a fetal position in your closet. I’m not sure if I could give you any more tips if I wanted to. That’s your best option.


  • You’ve made it, seniors! At least…you think you have. College talk has solidified in the form of college applications, and you promise yourself to look over said applications after Thanksgiving dinner. Good luck with that, I’m sure you won’t enter food coma and crash on the couch or anything.
  • Above all else, however, be sure to block out any talks of future plans with your family. You see, your angsty teen senses will tell you they’re only asking you about your future to rile you up. And they’re totally right. It’s not like your relatives care about your hopes and dreams or anything. They drove all the way from Ohio to make you nervous. And see you crying in a fetal position, same as last year.
  • Want to know how to showcase the fact that you’re above all that nonsense? You should probably get those business cards or t-shirts in those viral tweets that say “No, I don’t know where I’m going to college, I don’t know what I want to do in life either.” $24.99 plus shipping and handling to stick it to your family members? That’s what I call #angsty!