Real Talk Podcast: College Students Discuss the ‘Turkey Drop’ and Thanksgiving Breakup Stories

November 22, 2023

Are you familiar with the term “Turkey Drop”? This phenomenon occurs when college freshmen return home for Thanksgiving and often part ways with their hometown sweethearts. In a special Thanksgiving episode of Real Talk, hosts Susan and Kristina are joined by three students from a prominent midwestern university. Each student candidly shares their personal experiences of going through breakups during this period, offering valuable insights into the complexities and emotions leading up to these moments of transition.



  • Introduction to the show and hosts, Susan Stone and Kristina Supler (00:01)
  • Discussion on the excitement of the first Thanksgiving when students come home from college (00:14)
  • Introduction of the “Turkey drop” concept and personal experiences (00:38)
  • Introduction of three student guests: Laney, Jenna, and Morgan (01:41)
  • Discussion on the reasons behind the “Turkey drop” (06:02)
  • Sharing locations with friends and partners for safety and convenience (08:59)
  • Experiences post “Turkey drop” and current relationships with ex-partners (16:04)
  • Advice for freshmen with high school relationships (17:49)
  • Suggestion for a holiday gift: the book “Yes, your Kid” (19:35)
  • Conclusion and thanks to the guests (20:10)
  • Outro and promotion for the show (20:46)


Susan Stone: Welcome back to Real Talk with Susan Stone and Kristina Suler. We are full-time moms and attorneys bringing our student defense legal practice to life with real candid conversation.

Susan Stone: So in anticipation of Thanksgiving, Kristina, I wanted to do a really fun podcast, but I have to tell you that I know parents who have the freshmen who went off to college. The parents are so excited because there’s nothing like that. First Thanksgiving when your kid comes home from college one day. You’ll say that to me. I remember when you told me that.

Kristina Supler: I’m sure I don’t doubt it.

Susan Stone: But not all is Turkey and pumpkins because some kids come home from college and they do the Turkey drop, which is when college kids come home and break up with their hometown, honey. But Kristina, you have an interesting view of this and actually so do I, but I want to hear what you say.

Kristina Supler: I did not do the Turkey drop, so I married my high school sweetheart. I didn’t come home from Thanksgiving and do the breakup that you see everywhere. And now I’m married and have two kids,

Susan Stone: And I also want to share, and I hope I don’t embarrass her, that my own daughter did not do the Turkey drop and she just married her high school sweetheart this summer. So it doesn’t always happen. But with that said, I’m hoping we’re going to get into some juicy conversation about it. Why don’t you introduce our guests?

Kristina Supler: Yes. We are really excited today to be joined by three students from a wonderful Midwestern university that we’re very familiar with. We’re joined today by Laney, Jenna, and Morgan, who are going to share with us their perspectives on the Turkey drop. So ladies, without giving away anything that would reveal your identities, tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you’re doing at school and really what you know about the Turkey drop

Susan Stone: And identify yourselves because of course our listeners can only hear you and not see you. So say it’s Jenna, it’s Laney.

Jenna: I’m Jenna. I am currently applying to law school right now, which is exciting and going through the process. Yes, and I did participate in the Turkey drop my freshman year of college.

Susan Stone: What happened?

Jenna: Pretty much verbatim what the Turkey drop would be. Two days after Thanksgiving, he came over to my family Thanksgiving party and then I was like, this is just not it anymore. And then two days later we broke up and now he’s dating my best friend from high school.

Susan Stone: No, well, there you go. Jenna, what question? Were you both freshmen at different colleges or was he your hometown and still in high school?

Jenna: He was from my hometown, but we were both at separate colleges. We went separate colleges, so did long distance for the first three months and then called it quits.

Susan Stone: Was it hard for you? I was just going to ask.

Jenna: I was upset a little bit, but I was very much ready for the relationship to be over. But I feel like when you’re date for a while, it’s always a little bit upsetting, but definitely. Well, it’s

Susan Stone: We’ll it’s always over until you meet the one, right? Right. Yeah. Laney, what about you?

Lany: Okay, so my story’s a little bit different. Well, I’m Laney and I am a marketing major, and I did the Turkey drop second or my second year of college, so my sophomore year. So we actually made it through the freshman year, but then sophomore year we did it for a while. I just kind of was like, I don’t even know. I was kind of just bored. I needed something new and then I was seeing all these new faces at school, so I just decided to participate in the Turkey drop and it happened. Well, he knew it was coming that I was going to break up with him. So when we were from the same hometown, but we went to two separate colleges, but he knew I was going to break up with him, so he just made me do it over the phone because he didn’t want to have to see me in person to do it. I think he was embarrassed.

Susan Stone: I think that’s reasonable, don’t you? Yeah, I mean,

Lany: Yeah, it’s reasonable. We ended up talking after that, but we dated for about four years, so I feel like it would’ve been a little more mature if he let me do it in person.

Kristina Supler: Oh, that’s a long relationship to just have a breakup over the phone actually. I agree with you.

Lany: Yeah, I agree. Yeah, but then we ended up talking later over Thanksgiving, I think at Christmas break is when we actually ended up talking in person. But nope, just over Thanksgiving break I went for a drive and just broke up with him over the phone.

Kristina Supler: Morgan, what about you Morgan?

Morgan: I know. So I participated in the Turkey job my freshman year of college and we went to two different colleges. We dated all through high school and I don’t know, I kind of just got to college and realized there’s more to do in the world than be with my high school boyfriend, and I just decided that it was becoming a lot, having to keep up with him all the time, and I thought it was time to go our separate ways.

Susan Stone: And I mean, was the grass greener on the other side of the fence?

Morgan: Yes, I will say I think that’s so bad, but I think it was a long time coming Halloween and he surprised me on Halloween right before we went home for Thanksgiving and it was fine, except I think I realized that was when I wasn’t the most excited to be seeing him. I was excited for a fun Halloween with my new friends that I had met at college. So it was definitely that for me that I realized I think I was better off just doing my own thing and being more independent than having to rely on my high school boyfriend.

Susan Stone: Well, that leads me to the question for all three of you, and maybe we just kind of go in reverse order. What do you think the main reasons are for the Turkey drop?

Morgan: I think for me, it wasn’t even like I met someone new at school that I was interested in. I think it was more just realizing I didn’t want to have to be, I don’t know. I wanted to be able to go out and not have to worry about texting my boyfriend where I was, who I was with, what I was doing. And that’s kind of what it was for me freshman year because I know for me, I really loved my school, but for him it was a bit of a different story. So it was just two different dynamics and I think it was just time for us to part ways and meet new people.

Lany: I would say almost the same thing. Yeah, we went to two very different schools. He was playing a sport in college, the division one sport, so he was super busy and we were just living two completely different lives and I was just meeting a bunch of people and we’re in a sorority, so taking people to date parties, it kind of just got to the point where I just wanted to be able to go to more date parties with boys and bring them to mine. And I don’t know, just our schools were very different, so I feel like I would be doing things completely different than he would on the weekends. He would be going to games and I would be going out and stuff. Just meeting a lot of people.

Jenna: And then I think for me was our relationship was fine, except I think that once we both went our separate ways to college, we were a little too okay without each other and we never went to visit each other, never really cared to. So I think it was more of a just fizzling out of a relationship because we just really kind of realized that we were very okay without each other and didn’t really need that anymore.

Susan Stone: So I have a question, Jenna, you mentioned not wanting to have to go out and then check in with your boyfriend when you got home. I am curious, how common is it that you share your locations and you check in with each other after a night out? Are all college students doing that now or is that something that only parents do to keep an eye on their students?

Jenna: It’s actually funny. I still have his location. He still has mine really, because we just never unshared them. But I think, all my friends have my locations and stuff, so I think it’s really common now just for a lot of people to have your location, not necessarily making sure you’re in a certain place or whatever, more for safety purposes and stuff and just because fun to see where everyone is. I do think it’s kind of normal now if you guys would say the same. Yeah, definitely.

Susan Stone: I just want to point out that I always disagree with parents about locations. I’m one of the few parents I know who does not share location.

Kristina Supler: You always say Susan, I don’t want to know. Let them lead their lives. I want to live my life.

Susan Stone: Well, parents say to me, but it’s a safety thing, and I respond back, what are you going to do?

Students: That’s so true. Yeah, that is very true.

Susan Stone: And I also don’t want to know my husband’s location, and you know what? I don’t want him to know mine. I am. Amen. Yeah, I just feel like I got to be a level of trust. Do you think, do you view it because I know all our clients sharing location is a thing, so do you view it as a way of forming intimacy with a friend or a boyfriend or a safety issue? Because I find it creepy.

Lany: I feel like I use it a lot more for my friends than I do with my family. Like you said, what are you going to do about it? Yeah, if I’m going out and it’s two in the morning, my mom’s sleeping, she’s not looking at my location. But I feel like for friends, it’s super nice, like, oh, we’re at one bar, but I don’t know where my friends are. You just look at their location. If sometimes in the bars your phone’s not working or people just aren’t on them, it’s good to just be able, oh, they’re here. I can go there. Or someone’s picking you up from class and you can just check to see how far they are. I feel like it’s honestly very useful. Convenient. Convenient for roommates, but I’m not ever really looking at my mom or dad’s location. Well, my dad will share it. I feel like locations be a good thing until you take it. If someone was to take it out of pocket, I feel like if you had a boyfriend really tracking you and keeping tabs on where you are, then I feel like that’s just taken to the next level. But I agree. I think I use my location more for just us. Yeah, for sure.

Susan Stone: Interesting.

Kristina Supler: Yeah. I’m wondering for, so the three of you have all done the Turkey Drop. Do you have any friends who have done it but then maybe reunited with the dropped person later?

Student:  I do. I have a friend who did. I don’t remember if she did Turkey drop or if it was over Christmas break, one of the two. But then, yeah, they reunited back over summer, but then broke up two months after that. So I think it was for the best that the Turkey drop should have just stayed.

Susan Stone: Do you think you could manage, if you sort of were on the fence, okay, that you realized, I do love this person, but I don’t want to be timed down. Could you remain open or is that too much?

Student: I feel like that’s the point.

Student: I agree with that. I feel like I was to the point where I was like, if I’m going to break up with him, I just like it’s going to happen. I didn’t want to, don’t know. I feel like I was past the point of making the effort, trying new things of if I would do open or anything. It was kind of just past that point. She was staying open.

Student: I think that I feel like I was already kind of doing that. We really didn’t. I never texted him the whole time when I was out. I did my own thing. I usually really never knew where he was or what he was doing, which just goes to my point where I think we were a little bit too comfortable with being away from each other.

Student: I think mine was more of kind of random. I remember calling my mom, she’s like, why are you breaking up with him? I didn’t really have a reason. I feel like it was just not being able to see him. We lived in the same neighborhood, so I saw him all the time before every single day. So I think just kind of growing apart and nothing really happened, so it was hard, but I feel like, I don’t know what I’m even going with this, but I feel like if we would’ve went to the same schools, we probably would’ve stayed together.

Student: I feel like when it begins to feel like you have to text them and you have to tell them things, you kind of just know this is fizzling out. We’re going to go our separate ways. When something exciting happens and you’re like, they’re not the first person you want to go talk to about it, you just don’t feel like it, then it’s probably a time to Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Susan Stone: Ladies, you are on Real Talk with Susan and Kristina, so I’m going to ask you something and I want you to be real. The breakup, was it in your minds at all? Oh my gosh, we’re heading into the holiday season, have to buy gifts, spend time with their families, all of that. Was that on your radar or no?

Student: No, but we already started buying gifts for each other for Christmas, and I was like, I got him $200 raybans. So I was like, okay, I’m just going to return them. And he was like, no, let’s meet up in a month, go to lunch and exchange our gifts. And I was like, okay. So I ended up giving my ex-boyfriend $200 Raybans, and I got a plastic Starbucks cup and

Susan Stone: He cheaped out on you?

Student: Yeah, that was definitely something.

Student: Yeah, so I kind of have a similar thing. My birthday was in September, so for my birthday he bought me tickets. I was a really big Louisville football fan. He’s big Kentucky, so the big game was over Christmas break, so for my birthday in September, he had bought me those tickets. I don’t even know if he had bought them yet. So we were supposed to go over Christmas break, so I never even got my birthday present because then we broke up and then I didn’t even get the tickets. Shoot. I know. So not Christmas gifts, but I didn’t even get my birthday.

Student: I feel like I really, I was just so kind of in my head just over, I knew it was kind of over. I don’t really think I thought much into Christmas gifts or anything because I just knew when I got home and saw him again, I was just going to cut it off. I didn’t want to do it over the phone because we had been dating for a while and I wanted to try to be respectful about it.

Susan Stone: If you saw the person now, would it be friendly, awkward? What’s the state? How do you feel about that person now?

Student: So my ex-boyfriend’s actually in my high school friend group from home. I definitely see him more often than not when I’m home, but I feel like it’s not really awkward because it definitely was at first for sure. But now at this point, I mean we’ve seen each other over breaks. We just kind of say hi. We’re not really small talking, but we’re still civil and friendly with one another.

Susan Stone: That’s nice.

Student: Yeah, that’s how I am too. Like I mentioned earlier, we live in the same neighborhood, so I definitely run into him every once in a while. It’s not really awkward at all. We still, every once in a while we’ll text and catch up. I dated him for so long, so we’re still good friends and we’ll catch up, but I was really close with his family, so sometimes when I go home for a night or something, I live pretty close to school, I’ll see his family and I’ll go over to his family’s house and hang out with them when he’s not there. I was just so close with him, his parents and then his older sisters I was super close with. So it’s not awkward at all for me.

Student: Same for me. We’re in the same high school friend group too, so we saw each other a few times over the summer and it’s never really weird. If I have my friends over, I invite him. We ended things very on good terms, so it’s all good.

Susan Stone: How many of you are big sisters in your sorority?

All: We all, yeah, we all are. Yeah.

Susan Stone:  Are your littles freshmen?

All: They’re they’re juniors.

Susan Stone: Oh, okay. So if you had advice for a freshman who you knew had a hometown, honey, what would be your advice

Student:  I think that it’s always worth a try, but don’t go in with the highest expectations because nine times out of 10 it doesn’t work out. And that’s fine and you’ll be fine.

Student: Yeah, I mean, yeah, that I guess is better advice. Go in it with it, but also don’t miss out on things. Go to the date parties. If your boyfriend trusts you not to do anything, then I think it’s totally fair to be friends with a guy as just friends and go to his date parties and stuff. I feel like when me and my boyfriend broke up, I met so many more guys. I wasn’t, there wasn’t even a guy that I liked. You just meet so many more people when you don’t have a boyfriend because you get invited to those things. I guess that’s for being in sororities and fraternities, but just don’t miss out on things because of a relationship. And if you are, then it’s probably not meant to be.

Student: I definitely agree. I think freshman year is one of the most important times to meet new friends and figure out what you want to be doing and what you like and the people you want to be around. And I think that it’s like you need to make sure that having a boyfriend isn’t holding you back from those types of things because those are the friendships you’re going to look on to later on and be so happy that you met those girls and you went to that thing. You went to that event, you went out that night just because, I don’t know, you don’t want to miss out on stuff like that. And if a boyfriend’s holding you back from that, it’s probably time to let him go.

Student: Agreed.

Susan Stone: So Kristina, I have a suggestion for these lovely ladies. What they should get their parents for Christmas or for the holidays?

Kristina Supler: Oh, you are the most clever of them all. Ms. Stone, what is it? What do you think it is? Oh my gosh, look at that.

Susan Stone: I think on Amazon, all of your friends should get a copy of Yes, your Kid. What parents Need To Know About Today’s Teens and Sex – Co-written by yours truly, because there’s some new topics about the new sex ed in here, like rough sex, choking, plan B. We know what you really do, guys, so I think you should let your parents know. What do you think, Kristina?

Kristina Supler:  Check it out. It’s a good primer for parents on what I mean, what you all know, but what we’re seeing when people come to us for various types of matters and what’s really going on college campuses these days, which is shocking to some parents, but not to us because it’s what we do. But it was really such a treat speaking with you all. Thank you so much for joining us, Laney, Jenna, and Morgan, and hopefully this was a fun little episode for our listeners to just talk about the Turkey drop.

Thanks for listening to Real Talk with Susan and Kristina. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to our show so you never miss an episode and leave us a review so other people can find the content we share here. You can follow us on Instagram, just search our handle @StoneSupler and for more resources, visit us online at Thank you so much for being a part of our Real Talk community. We’ll see you next time.