We’ve all heard ’em — those cliched phrases that make you want to crawl into a hole. Here are our top (bottom?) five:
5. So, what kinds of activities are you involved in?
Freshman year: We would’ve just gotten back from a Habitat for Humanity build day and been on our way to a BARE magazine club meeting followed by an interview for Berkeley Consulting. Our speech about our breadth of activities would have been long-winded enough to cue the “please wrap it up” Oscar music.
Now: Is sampling all of the IPAs Free House has on tap considered an extracurricular?
4. How are things with “X” boyfriend/girlfriend?
Well, actually we’re not together anymore. The ending was pretty ugly. But thanks for that not-so-gentle reminder that the possibility of actually ending up as a cat lady looms ever closer.
3. How does it feel to be so old? Can you believe you only have one more year?
We’re not over the hill here, people. We can still get to Goldman School of Public Policy without a cane — although our lack of exercise may make this task more difficult for us than for our yuppie freshman counterparts.
2. Oh so you’re an (anthropology, English, Latin, etc.) major. What are you going to do with that?
The “with that” is the killer. This question suddenly makes us feel like we’re suffocated by the word “declared.” We can do anything we want, but we’re still working on the whole major-application-to-the-real-world concept.
And, of course…
1. What are your plans after graduation?
Possibly the most dreaded question of all, this icebreaker (or shudder-worthy small-talk opener) always leaves us grappling for a one-way ticket out of the conversation. We respond that “the plan is to figure out a plan!” with a forced laugh. The adult asking the questions always smiles in understanding (pity?) and offers some unsolicited advice.
So we smile, we listen (kind of) and we think about that “extracurricular” we’re about to order with our best friends right after this conversation is finally over. And we’ll cheer to the fact that no one really knows the right answers.
Contact Leah Hegyi at [email protected]