How to answer awkward question from your family

Samantha Berrafato

One of the best parts of going home is seeing your family. This can be followed by one of the worst parts, answering those questions that you would rather shy away from.

How are your classes going?

You can answer this with a simple “Fine” and then choose one class and tell them why it is interesting, that is what they want to hear. Most of the time your aunt that asks this may just want to hear a small bit about your class so she can dive into a story from her college days, and so you can get away with keeping it brief.

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet?

This is one no college student wants to hear. No one wants to dive into their intimate love life in front of their family so a simple “No” is fine, or if you are dating someone, you can say “Yes but it is fairly new” and most of the time your family will back off from the extra questions. If they don’t, make an excuse of going to help your mom with dinner or that your dog needs to be let out.

Are you getting good grades?

My grandfather asks me this one every time he sees me. Say “yes,” even if it is a lie. You don’t want to give your grandparents a heart attack over the holidays. Let them be proud of you for an hour until they forget about that conversation. If you don’t want to lie, just say you think they are going well and maybe change the subject to what you like about classes.

Do you drink a lot at school?

My uncle asked me this one, throwing me way off. Know your audience, would they be upset if you did? My uncle thinks it’s funny for college students to drink since he also had recently graduated children. You can say you occasionally drink, then you aren’t seen as a raging alcoholic and maybe your dad will let you have a glass of wine with Christmas dinner. If your grandmother asks you, “No, never” is most likely the right answer. Remember, we are reducing the risk of grandparent heart attacks this year.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

This cringing question makes many students want to melt right under the table so they can sit with their dog, who is begging for food. If you know what you want to do, great! Let your family know your tentative plan. If you have no clue what you’re doing yet, then just say some random ideas you’ve had about it, such as, “Well I hope I will be living in [insert place here]” or “My one class talks about [insert career option here], that I find interesting.”