It’s the cruelest question to ask any college senior. It’s the worst possible conversation topic and it is definitely not any fun to answer.
So…do you know what you’re doing next year?
It might seem like an innocent question, but really, it’s like asking a single person when they think they’ll finally get around to that whole marriage thing.
Yet, despite all of this…we heart it ever single day and from all possible, likely and unlikely, sources. Whether it is your grandmother, uncle, professor or even classmate, it’s an equal opportunity crime.
Here’s what I’ve learned: telling the sad, awful truth isn’t always the best way to end this conversation as quietly as possible, which, if you are like me, is probably your end goal.
Saying “Oh I am actually not sure yet” will likely illicit a gasp, or perhaps some sort of question about either your job application process or about the current economic crisis. This is just not cool. Why would you do that to yourself?
Instead, I find that it is best to come up with an elaborate lie; the more elaborate, the better. As I learned last week from my favorite character on my favorite tv show: Barney on How I Met Your Mother (naturally), the more elaborate and complicated the lie, the more plausible it becomes. Distracting the person and subtly changing the subject of conversation is the best way out.
Well, this summer I am backpacking through and then taking the Trans-Siberian railroad before I settle down to work.
This optimal answer changes the subject and also makes everyone happy. No one actually wants to talk about jobs and applications. People have somehow gotten this silly idea into their head that this is what seniors want to talk about (it’s baffling, really).
By changing the topic to travel, and distracting them with detailed/elaborate information about an obscure foreign land (the more obscure the better; think Liechtenstein) , you will give them a fascinating conversation topic and save yourself the trouble of explaining that you have yet to get any job application replies or acceptances.
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