Summer is here! For the college crew, that means a three month vacation at your parents’ house. For the post-college crew, that means a few visits to your hometown. For both groups, that means bumping into old classmates. And no matter how well you once knew your high school peers, that can be awkward.
Let’s face it, small talk is inherently uncomfortable, but if you’re trying to avoid a little bit of pain, steer clear of these questions:
What are you doing after graduation?
Talk about a conversation buzzkill. Nobody likes that question! This kid probably has no effing clue what he’s going to do after graduation, and if he does have concrete post-grad plans there’s a good chance he’s about to make you feel really friggin’ inadequate. The real answer is likely drinking and taking online quizzes.
Where are you working these days?
This just isn’t a safe question, especially for recent graduates. You’re probably about to receive an awkward answer about that person’s semi-unemployment. Or you’ll ignite a rant about how much that person’s boss f*%&ing sucks. OR you’ll discover that the person works for Vemma, in which case you’re about to spend the next 10 minutes of your life dying inside.
Did you see what happened to (insert name of former classmate)?
Post-grad gossip seems harmless enough, but it’s going to be really effing awkward when you find out that that former classmate you’re dumping on is now this guy’s best friend. If shit talk is your go-to, it’s safer to stick with a teacher or administrator that everyone hated. Mrs. Wang was always a bitch. This guy probably still hates her.
Are you seeing anyone?
I don’t actually have to explain why this is dangerous do I? Single people always have the most awkward, mumbly “I just crapped my pants” response to this question, and people in relationships always have a million things to say about their relationship problems. Facebook is a thing. If you really want to know, pull your phone out.
What happened between you and (insert name of ex boyfriend/girlfriend)?
Step awayyyyy from the feelings. Nobody wants to talk about their breakups. Also, this kid now knows that you’ve been stalking his Facebook page. YOU EFFING CREEP!
Remember that time you pissed your pants on a field trip because you were too shy to tell the teacher you needed to use the bathroom and then everyone made you sit on the back of the bus and wouldn’t talk to you for the rest of the year?
Pretty good chance this kid is still seeing a therapist over that incident. Unless you’re certain that the person you’re talking to is absolutely shameless, steer clear of awkward memories.
…Even if they are HILARIOUS.
Are you going to go back to grad school?
Don’t. Just don’t. How do you feel when that prick neighbor of yours asks you this question? …Exactly.
Just steer-clear of grad school conversations all together. We all know that 17 years of schooling was enough.
What happened there? *Points to scab or Bandaid*
This questions has only been included because I asked it myself once and it didn’t end well. That scab might be a communicable skin disease or herpes or something. Believe me, you don’t even want to know.
So, the next time you find yourself face to face with an old classmate, consider whether or not a simple, “how have you been?!” will suffice. No need to make an awkward encounter more awkward with a series of uncomfortable questions. 60% of the time, brevity works every time.