In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself
As students we are caught in a No Man’s Land of age categorisation. We are no longer children, in the sense that we do occasionally manage to do our own washing without turning everything pink and blotchy, and we no longer have to be taught times tables by teachers with personal hygiene issues. And if that wasn’t enough proof, most of us are now too tall to be allowed on the Squirrel Nutkin ride at Alton Towers.
So if we’re not children, are we adults? Well no, we don’t really fit into that category either. We are not quite adults yet, in the sense that we don’t feel the need to know anything whatsoever about wine other than the effect it has on your sobriety, and we sometimes wear Disney-themed pyjamas. We are more like strange, awkward creatures cunningly disguised as functioning human beings.
Therefore we can fall into difficulty when we come into contact with real, proper Grown Ups who have achieved something more than discovering 101 dishes you can make with cheese, pasta and toast. But never fear! The Awkward Guide has helpful tips on how to deal with the one question every adult seems to want to ask you, and every student dreads answering.
So what do you plan to do after university?
This is a particular favourite, especially among family friends and your parents’ colleagues. In this situation, honesty is not usually the best policy and should only be resorted to in times of desperation and severe imaginative collapse.
“I don’t know” is not generally considered an acceptable response even though, let’s face it, most of us have no clue what we are doing with our lives and are still waiting for a moment of epiphany to enlighten us to our true calling.
“I’m still considering my options” can have some success, and is less daring than a downright lie. It is vague and non-committal enough to hopefully demonstrate that you are not too enamoured with their question. It also serves as a nice, subtle payback for asking an awkward question by reminding them that they no longer have options more exciting than what colour tie to wear to the office.
Most adults were probably not actually interested anyway and were just being polite, so this answer can sometimes help them move on to more manageable topics, like how tasty the quiche is. However, from particularly persistent adults it can encourage further questioning, which is not what you want at all.
If you opt for a lie, it is best to go for something that sounds obscure and confusing, and far too complicated to explain whilst eating quiche at a garden party. It also helps to mumble slightly, making it harder for them to tell what you actually said and leaving them with the only responses of nodding, smiling and saying “oh, that sounds interesting”.
The Awkward Guide accepts no responsibility for adverse reactions to the implementation of advice supplied herein. Side-effects can include: smug laughter, mild disdain, and temporary irritation.