As we roll into holiday season, I’d like to suggest that you carefully craft your answers to the questions that will invariably be posed to you by long lost (and out of touch) relatives… and work to avoid the snippy answers that spring to mind (and are written below). Strive for the high road and mollify the relatives!
If you are a senior, you will not doubt be asked
So, what line of work do you want to go into?
Oh, I thought I’d become a ______ just like you!
What colleges interest you?
Those that do not permit me to travel all the way home for fun holiday get-togethers like this one.
Where are you in the application process?
Yikes! Are you saying that I should be thinking about this over the holidays? Gosh, I took the SAT’s and started the Common App! It’s only November.
What will you be majoring in?
How will you differentiate yourself from the crowd of applicants?
Dye my hair purple.
If you are a junior these questions may be posed
So, have you thought about college yet?
No, not one bit! I’ve forgotten all about those pesky standardized tests and have all winter and spring to chill before getting serious.
Do you plan on going where your mom/dad/grandmother/grandfather went?
Oh yeah, absolutely! I definitely want to do exactly the same work as s/he does/did.
I hear it’s harder and harder to get into colleges these days, so how are you going to make an impression?
See # 5 above.
I suggest that you stifle any impulse to use the quips above. My thinking is that having answers on the tip of your tongue will serve you well, so you might consider weaving these facts and ideas into your responses:
For many students, college is about discovering new interests and not focusing on a field of work too soon. What does going to college mean to you? There’s your answer!
Over 50% of students entering college do not know what major field of study they wish to pursue. Perhaps you’re just like them!
Colleges are looking for whole people-those who have consistently challenged themselves-both academically and extracurricularly. What makes you -> you? Have you taken increasingly difficult courses and done well? Are you a leader in school and/or in the community? Have you taken on significant projects, traveled, volunteered, worked? All these experiences make you unique and that is what you will convey in the application and during interviews.
A little forethought will go a long way in handing some of the vexing questions that arise on social occasions. Good luck!