There is one constant when a college student returns home for the holidays: family functions. And, of course, with these family functions comes "catch-up" conversations with all your relatives.
There are a few family members who think differently than, say, a 20-something who deems “Tequila Tuesday” a perfectly acceptable way to blow off steam after a busy two days of work and school. Still, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear about what you have been up to while away at school.
There are always questions asked at family parties I have to answer accordingly (read: falsely). It’s not that I want to lie to my family, I just know that if I told them the truth, I would probably induce a heart attack amongst my elders.
In order to spare them from a visit to the hospital over the holidays, these will be my responses for the inevitable uncomfortable questions that will be asked this holiday season. Feel free to follow suit, fellow undergrads.
“Do you have any ideas of what you want to do with your degree?”
Asks the Uncle who is successful and incredibly driven.
Truthful Response: “I think I’ll buy a nice frame for it. Then, I’ll put the degree in my fancy frame and use it as a bed, a stove and a toilet since I won’t be able to pay for anything other than my student loans until I’m 80. You’ve got to love out-of-state tuition, am I right?”
What I’ll Actually Say: “I’ve been looking into some up-and-coming companies. My advisor is my best friend and my therapist and my academic spirit guide all in one.”
“So, are you seeing anybody?”
Asks the Aunt who thinks she’s cool because she has a Fitbit.
Truthful Response: "I have, in fact, 'seen' some people (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I don’t always remember what they look like after I’ve 'seen' them, but that’s because I wasn’t wearing my sober glasses when I 'saw' them. Just to clarify, when you say, 'see,' you mean sex stuff, right?"
What I'll Actually Say: "I’ve decided to make studies my 'boyfriend.' There is a cute guy who is always at the library when I am, but I am too busy keeping my nose in the books to get to know him."
“Any crazy partying stories?”
Asks the cousin who goes to a small school with a dry campus and wants to live vicariously through you.
Realistic Answer: "You know that song 'September' by Earth Wind And Fire? The one that goes, 'Do you remember/ the 21st night of September?' Well, I don’t remember the 21st night of September, but the 22nd of September involved a nasty hangover and sending out a lot of apology texts."
What I’ll Actually Say: "Oh, there was one time my friends and I split a Mike's Hard while watching 'Gossip Girl.' There were eight of us."
“Do you do any of the drugs?”
Asks your straight-and-narrow cousin who has narced you out to your parents since you were kids.
Realistic Answer: "I've passed out on my floor while cuddling with a breadstick. When I woke up, it was gone. I don’t know how, but I assume it's because I ate it. The munchies got the best of me, and I ate the one thing that would cuddle with me. I’m a monster. But, yeah, I love weed."
What I’ll Actually Say: "Who do I look like, Seth Rogen? No! I would think you would give me a little more credit. I’m terribly disappointed in you. I’m telling Aunt Betty."
"How have you been?"
Asks the relative who, if compared to a food, is celery.
Realistic Answer: "Let's see, I have having quarter-life crises almost every day, I don't have any money and I'm starting to believe I will never get married, which frightens me. And, if we're being honest, I am concerned my childhood lisp is coming back whenever I'm put in stressful situations."
What I'll Actually Say: "I've been good! Busy, but good!"