Nov   2015



How to Answer Nosey College Questions During the Holidays

Student, The High School of Performing and Visual Arts

Just keep your eyes on your plate . . .

It’s the holiday season, a time full of food, celebrations, family—and awkward college questions you have no idea how to answer.

As most upperclassmen in high school can agree, the closer you get to college, the more all “polite” conversations seem to sound the same. Your dear old Aunt Susie corners you by the cheese and crackers: “Where are you thinking for school?” “What will you major in?” “Are you pledging your mother’s sorority?” The list goes on and on. How should you answer? What do you say?

For questions like “Where do you want to go to college?” or “Are you looking forward to graduating?” that make you want to crawl into a hole because they’re just a little too real, it’s generally best to give vague but hopeful answers. Aunt Susies everywhere can accept that. Also, it’s always nice to ask Aunt Susie about where she went to school or what she majored in. Not only does it show you’re interested in her, but it deflects the conversation from you!

For nosey/rude questions concerning your GPA or test scores, give short answers. While there is no written decorum on college-related questions, asking for someone’s GPA is the teenager equivalent of asking someone about their salary or how much their house is worth. It’s just not polite and, quite frankly, it’s none of their business. In scenarios like that, it is okay to say “fine” and then change the subject.

Now, are you ready to face the endless questions from Aunt Susie at your next family holiday party? Take this quiz and see how you do!

“Where do you want to go to college?”

  1. Literally anywhere that will take me. *weeps openly*
  2. You know . . . that one . . . up north . . . somewhere . . .
  3. I haven’t narrowed down my final choices, but I’m doing lots of research to find the schools that best suit me. (Aunt Susie–approved answer)

“What do you want to major in?”

  1. I'm planning to major in How to Answer Nosey Questions with a minor in Minding One’s Own Beeswax.
  2. Ha! I’m not even sure what I want for dinner, much less what I want to do for the next four years.
  3. At the moment, I’m considering a few different subjects and learning more about them. Luckily, I have plenty of time to choose what I want to major in. (Aunt Susie–approved answer)

“How did you do on the SAT?”

  1. Are you a college recruiter?
  2. How did you do on the SAT, Aunt Susie? How did you do?!?
  3. I did the best I could! Could you please pass the mashed potatoes? (Aunt Susie–approved answer)

“What’s your GPA?”

  1. A series of numbers
  2. I enjoy Grand Theft Auto too!
  3. *big smile* It’s fine. Can I please have the mashed potatoes again? (Aunt Susie–approved answer)

“Are you looking forward to graduating?”

  1. Nononononononononononononononoooooo
  3. I’m really trying to enjoy this time with my family and friends right now, but I’m also ready for the next big step. (Aunt Susie–approved answer)

May all your family functions be with as minimal invasive college questions as possible.

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About Cathleen Freedman

Cathleen attends the High School of Performing and Visual Arts where she is preparing in the best possible way for college. She would also have to say writing in third person is as fun as you think.


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