As with any season of life, college brings a new set of questions and comments from friends and family. But after a few weeks in this exciting, new time of life, you realize how unoriginal people are. Seriously, everyone seems to ask the same questions and make the same comments. Exact. Same. And after 2 years of college, when yet another individual begins to ask one of these generic questions or make a cliche remark, I am increasingly more tempted to turn my head and walk away. But seeing as that is not socially acceptable, I stand there, answering your questions and nodding in agreement to all the cliches you can muster.
And although hearing any question or comment repeatedly would grow annoying, people have a surprising ability to repeatedly ask questions and make comments that are neither appreciated, nor helpful. And sometimes the things people say are just flat-out ignorant. So for all of you well-meaning people who love to offer advice or peer into the lives of college students, this post is for you. Here is a little glimpse of the kinds of things we, as college students, would love to never hear again.
1. “So have you found a husband yet?” Contrary to popular belief, college is not a marriage factory. Universities will give you a diploma without a marriage certificate. And it is possible to enter the “real world” without a significant other beside you. And just as a side, if the person you’re talking to has any form of social media, there is a 98% chance that you will have seen pictures or a name mentioned if they have found that special person. If you haven’t seen anything that would make you think they have found that person, don’t ask. Just don’t.
2. “So when are you getting married?” Do you see a ring on my finger? If the answer is no, this is not an appropriate question. Try again.
3. “Are you ready to graduate?” The moment we graduate, we are officially on our own and thrown into the “real world”. Let me refresh you on all the things you CAN’T do in the real world: start your day at 11am, skip class (which is now replaced by work), stay out late because you know you can skip class, use being in college as an excuse to be immature, take spontaneous road trips on the weekends because you don’t have to pay bills with that money, and do whatever you want to with your free time. Also, the real world doesn’t have spring break, 3-week Christmas vacations, or a 3-month summer. So with all that said, yes I am ready to graduate! I am ecstatic and can’t wait to leave this lifestyle!! No. The answer to your question is no. I would prefer if you didn’t even mention graduation.
4. “So what do you want to do with that?” We probably have no idea, but we’ll give you an answer to make it seem like we really have our life together. Most days we aren’t even sure about our major. While it’s not a rude question to ask, it makes us feel really inadequate when we don’t have a solid answer. Most students would appreciate you letting the answer to what major they have chosen be enough. If they are really eager to tell you all about how they plan to save the planet, then by all means, keep asking questions. But if not, just let it go. We will all find out soon enough what we will do with that. Chances are, it won’t be what we planned anyways.
5. “Where do you want to live after you graduate?” While I’m flattered that you seem to think I could get a job wherever I wanted to be, the reality is that where I want to live will take a backseat to wherever I can get a job. We’re all aware of the shape of our job market, so we’ll be happy to have a job when we graduate. So, where I want to live is really irrelevant; thus, there’s really no point in even asking. I’ll end up wherever I end up, and make the most of that.
6. “Do you have a job lined up for after graduation?” Generally, companies don’t line up employees two years ahead of time, so no, I don’t have a job lined up. Thanks for making me think I’m suppose to though! I’ll be sure to add that to my to-do list.
7. “Where are you going to graduate school?” Similar to the “where do you want to live” thing, the graduate program I attend will be whatever one I get accepted into. And if I get accepted into more than one, then I’ll factor personal preference into my decisions. But until then, I’ll stick with answering “wherever I get accepted.”
8. “So do you miss being home?” This is just an unfair question. If we say no, we feel guilty for not missing our family, and if we say yes, you’ll think we don’t like college. It’s a lose/lose for us.
9. “Oh…that’s cool…” When this follows our response to your “What’s your major?” question, we realize you clearly disapprove of our decision. If you can’t at least fake being supportive of our decision, don’t ask the question. Picking a major is hard enough, but it’s even harder when we try to pick something that everyone else is okay with as well. On this particular decision, we need your support not your criticism. Be nice.
10. “Well in the real world you can’t…” Yes, we are aware, hence the reason we don’t want to graduate. But we aren’t in the “real world” yet, so I don’t see your point. Let us enjoy the simple pleasures while we can. We’ll find out soon enough what we can and can’t do.
11. “Yeah you keep thinking that.” Geez people just let us have our moment! If our future plans are really that unrealistic, we’ll find out on our own. Nothing good comes from you going around crushing people’s dreams. Just let us live in our fairytale world for a little while longer. Before you know it, we’ll be jaded and cynical just like you 😉
12. “You’ll make a lot more money if you major in…” We probably already knew that. Everybody probably knows that. And if that’s what we wanted to do, then we would be majoring in that. But since we aren’t, it’s probably not because we are unaware of how much more money they make. It’s because we aren’t interested in that. Take whatever stance on the issue you like, but some of us would rather make less money at something we love than make lots of money at something we hate. But obviously, you would prefer the later. To each his own.
13. “These are the best four years of your life.” Oh so it’s all downhill after this? Nothing else in life will ever compare? That’s great. As much as you love life, I can’t wait to graduate and experience all these longings for the “good ol days.” But honestly, would you continue watching a movie if someone told you it kept getting worse and there was no happy ending? No. So why would you present our lives like that? In reality, there will be days where we’re tired of paying bills, going to work, and having responsibilities. We know that. But there will also be new adventures that will be even greater than any day we spent in college. But thanks to you, we are now terrified that life might really be all downhill from here. Thanks for that!
And there you have it, folks. 13 things we would love to never hear again. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a start. Think twice next time you feel compelled to mention one of these to a college student. We would love to hear something new for a change!