How to: answer the ‘what are you going to do after graduation’ question

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For those of us antsy about next month’s graduation, there’s one question we’re already sick of hearing: “So, what are you going to do after you graduate?”

As a senior, you can expect to be getting this question from all directions: your family, friends, professors and random strangers like the lady you happened to sit next to on BART. With graduation dinners and parties approaching, be prepared to be grilled by distant relatives about the particulars of your life after graduation. If you’re still unsure about a suitable answer to appease all those loving relatives — or randoms — the Clog’s compiled a list of appropriate answers.

The “I’m the pride and joy of my family” answer: 

“Well, I have a full-ride scholarship to Graduate School of Genius. Once I’m done and have that Ph.D. under my belt, I have a job lined up at a top consulting firm in the city of my choice. Yes, full benefits included, of course.”

The “I’m a normal human being” answer:

“Well, I’m really just focusing on graduating right now. I’ve been looking into some job opportunities but haven’t locked anything down yet. Hopefully, the rest will fall into place.” Hint: Try to hide the fact that you feel like a complete and utter failure with this response.

The “Quintessential Berkeley” answer

“I’m definitely moving to the ‘city’ with a few of my friends. A well-paying, satisfying job and affordable rent-controlled apartment that can house all of us will just naturally manifest itself.”

The “Give your family a heart attack” answer:

“I’m going to take my liberal arts degree … and become a liberal artist.”

The “I’m a traitor” answer:

“I’m planning on getting my master’s at Stanford. Go Trees!”

The “Van Wilder” answer:

“Graduate? That’s contingent on actually taking my finals …”

Although we’re willing to admit that the “what are you going to do after you graduate” question is quite natural, it does get pretty old. After all, wouldn’t it be great if your relatives ditched the “what’s next” inquiries and opted for an “I’m so proud of you for graduating! You should really just take some time and relax after this. You sure deserve it.”

Yep, wishful thinking.

Contact Corinne Platten at [email protected]