Awkward Holiday Questions and How to Answer Them
It’s that time of year again! If you’re anything like me, that means spending way more money than you actually have on everyone you love, eating insane amounts of holiday baking your body can’t handle, seeing that aunt you only see once a year, and taking a much-needed bubble bath.
Over the next three weeks, you finally get to step back and look at all your hard work from the semester. You get to relax and feel proud of yourself. Whether your winter holiday entails working 40 hours a week at your old cafe job, watching hockey with your family, or simply sleeping 12 hours a day, it’s a well-deserved break from the trauma (yes, 5 research essays and 4 exams is traumatic) of university life.
The one downfall of being with your family for three weeks straight: the awkward questions they keep asking you even though you clearly don’t want to answer them. You know the kind of questions I’m talking about: What do you want to do when you graduate? Are you being healthy? Are you still with X? Have you gained weight? Like, come on mom, I’m trying to relax.
These questions get repetitive, and the responses you get from your grandma, uncle, old boss, or mother can make you feel absolutely awful about your spastic university life (because who actually gets 8 hours of sleep a night and eats a full breakfast?)
Coming up with some short and sweet answers beforehand takes some stress out of the 3 fabulous weeks you get to spend with your entire extended family. Here are some responses for that awkward dinner talk you’re bound to have with grandma.
Question 1: Are you dating anyone? I hear Tinder is the craze with people your age.
Your autopilot response: “I have a cat and we cuddle all night, every night. We also watch Teen Mom together and cry at the sad parts. Is that what you mean?”
What you should say: “I’m not really looking for a relationship right now. I’m prioritizing school and taking care of myself. Having a good relationship with myself and my body is my main goal right now.”
Question 2: So, how was your semester?
Your autopilot response: “Well, I wrote 942 essays, and I haven’t checked my exam marks because I’m afraid of the results, but thanks for reminding me of what I’ll have to return to in a few weeks.”
What you should say: “It was a really tough semester, but I did my best and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m especially happy with my project in X, which was about X. I also met some really cool people that made my semester enjoyable and not all about school.”
Question 3: What are you going to do with your degree when you graduate?
Your autopilot response: “Probably move back home and live in my parents’ basement forever.”
What you should say: “I’m not really sure yet, I’m interested in X and would love to pursue a career that compliments my degree. But the most important thing after I graduate is to make sure I’m happy and healthy and have an open mind.”
Question 4: Have you lost weight? You look great!
Your autopilot response: “What are you implying?!”
What you should say: “I’ve been trying to be as healthy as possible during school. It’s really stressful, but I’m doing my best to eat healthy foods and exercise when I can.”
Question 5: What happened to that nice boy you were dating last year? I liked him!
Your autopilot response: “Well obviously I didn’t like him that much — do you even think before you ask questions?!”
What you should say: “I haven’t heard from him in awhile, but I think he’s doing well.”
Question 6: How are you really doing?
Your autopilot response: “I’m broke, tired, hungry, confused. How do you think I’m doing?”
What you should say: “I’m doing well. I have a lot on my plate, but slowly and surely I’m figuring it all out.”