I went home for Thanksgiving break and my parents and all of my friends’ parents started asking me what I’m doing after graduation. Now I’m freaking out that I haven’t figured out any plans, and I get so awkward when I try to explain that I don’t know yet. What do I say to all these people asking me about my future?
— Jobless in Seattle
Dear Jobless in Seattle,
Ugh. The inevitable questioning begins. Do you know what you’re doing next year? Where do you want to live? Can you get a job from your internship this summer? Are you even going to graduate? Can you pass the gravy?
When being questioned, here are some possible responses that will ease the tension for both you and the adult asking:
1. I think I’m going to take a fifth year at school and explore the art of calligraphy a little more.
2. I plan on moving back home and mooching off of my parents for as long as they are willing to pay for me.
3. I’m going to spend my parents’ money on a Euro trip, where I plan on finding myself (and a hot French boyfriend).
4. I’m going to move in with my boyfriend and rush into something serious that neither of us is ready for yet.
5. I plan on moving to Austin, Boulder or Insert-Hipster-City-Here and learning how to be a bartender.
6. I’m going to move to a farm and learn how to live a sustainable lifestyle.
7. I’m going to nanny for a family on the Upper East Side and make a lot more money than anyone else I know (even the comp-sci nerds).
8. I’m going to hitchhike out west and find odd jobs along the way.
9. I’m going to graduate school because I peaked in college, and I’m hoping that this coolness might extend into my master’s degree.
10. I’m going to find a wealthy older man and hope that he spoils me and maybe has some connections in the field that I say I’m interested in pursuing.
11. I’m going to become a freelance writer. Hopefully my application for food stamps comes through soon!
12. I’m hoping to get discovered. I don’t have any talents yet, but it still could happen. I heard that’s how Paris Hilton made it.
13. I’m taking some time off to recover and recuperate after abusing my body for four years with debilitating hangovers and Dewick food.
14. I’m studying for the LSAT/MCAT/GRE/real estate license/bartending license. And I’m living at home.
15. I’m developing an App called FakeBlock.
16. I’m going on Birthright and extending my trip indefinitely (or until they stop paying for me).
17. I’m moving in with my grandparents. We have the same sleep schedule.
18. I’m still waiting to hear back from places. They’re playing hard to get.
19. I’m still weighing my options. Are you hiring?!
20. I’m going to be a stay at home mom.
21. I’m working on my screenplay. Do you want to read it?
22. It’s none of your business, please hand me another slice of pie.
Use any of the above, or all of the above. Most people (besides your own parents) don’t actually care about the answer that you give, just that you have an answer. When they move onto the next inevitable question — “are you in a relationship?” — just pull out your phone and show them adorable pictures of your dog. For some reason that’s always a sufficient answer.
Here’s to never growing up,