“When are you graduating?”
“What are your plans”
“Oh, what are you going to do with that degree?”
If you’re a senior in college, these questions have already begun to haunt you. Often asked by well-meaning friends and family, the holidays are an especially tiresome time for seniors who are tired of predicting their entire future. No holiday comes more packed with anxiety than Thanksgiving. The first of the holiday gauntlet (Thanksgiving to Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa to New Years), Turkey Day tends to come with the most questions. Whether you know exactly what you’re doing with your future or are still figuring things out, there are three ways you can go about answering all of your Nana’s questions.
The way most people will go is what I call ‘the flowery response’. This is what everyone wants to hear. Oh, what am I doing after school? Well, I’m hoping I can get a wonderful job in my industry! What am I doing with my degree? Where am I going to live? I don’t have anything set in stone yet, but I’m hoping to strike out on my own! These are usually the go-to, optimistic answers. This is your best-case scenario that you know will make you sound humble but impressive. I highly recommend this response.
If you just can’t stomach giving the ‘flowery response’ one more time, you can go in the ‘cold hard facts’ direction. What am I doing with my degree? Well, probably not even working in my area of study. How am I going to pay back my student loans? Who knows! I’ll probably be in debt for the rest of my life! This one shouldn’t be used on old or argumentative people, as it might start some uncomfortable conversations. It is more useful for cousins or family friends who understand the struggle.
Now, I’m not telling you to lie… but sometimes it’s okay to add fun facts to the truth. For ‘the embellishment response’ it’s okay to avoid specifics. Where am I working after college? I’m working at a nice, small company (minimum wage starting position). Where am I planning on living? I have two roommates that I’m moving in with (who definitely aren’t my parents). Maybe you add in a white lie or two that you’re going to travel or spend time learning a bunch of new skills.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your loved ones want what’s best for you. Whether you’re celebrating with a genetic family or a found family, no one is in charge of your future but yourself. And who knows, maybe someone at the table has an opportunity for you!