So often we have habits of asking questions that go so far back in our culture that we don’t even think twice about them. Unfortunately, being a college student is the prime time in life for these questions. If it’s not the awkward interrogation then it’s the ever-dreaded ‘when I was your age’ stories that you listen to so Uncle Rudy can remind you he’s a football legend for the millionth time.
If you’re like me, you’d rather not ask simple filler questions that could potentially offend someone so I figured I’d get some help. I’ve asked several college students what the top 5 questions they’re tired of hearing and put them together in a list. Share them if there was one you liked and comment if there’s one we missed!
1. What’s your major?
There really is no problem with this question, we get your intentions and appreciate your interest there just might be some other questions that are a bajillion times better. When you stop to think about it there really aren’t a ton of positive results that can come from that question when we stand back and look.
For my friends who’ve always had an answer for this, majority of them ended up changing which made them feel guilty. I’ve even had friends who kept their degrees and stayed in their fields because they didn’t want to waste the money they spent on college even though they came to find they hated the career.
The alternative is that a person has no clue what their degree is going to be yet and the reality is that should be completely okay. You don’t have to have life figured out at 18, that’s just ridiculous.
Instead, ask me what problem I want to fix in the world. Motivate me to make a difference rather than a 5-year plan because, as I’m sure you’re living proof, 5-year plans don’t work out. You learn, you grow, you change, hopefully for the better. Encourage me to live an unpredictable adventure following who God has called me to be.
2. Do you have a job lined up?
This question can be painful and so molding of who we are. We think of college as the means to work and not a place to learn how to improve at our passions. It becomes about how much money a degree can get you rather than following your passions and figuring out how to make a career out of what you love.
The degree has to get you a job but the job has to pay really well so you can pay off the degree…it doesn’t quite make sense. The amount of people my dads age that talk about really just wanting to get to retirement is crazy. It almost seems weird in our culture to want a job that you DON’T want to retire from.
Now hear me out, it’s extremely impressive how the baby boomer generation worked as hard as they did, as long as they did, for the pay they did. Their skin is much thicker than the average person today and I truly believe that.
The beautiful thing of it is that their hard work has created a world where millennial’s have more opportunities to do incredible jobs that don’t require sweat, which is awesome! The big area my generation is definitely failing is motivation so ask me about my passions and then encourage me to chase them fearlessly! “What problem in the world are you passionate about that you’re working to solve” is SO much better than “got a job?” One makes me feel like if I just settled for some 9 to 5 that I hated you’d respect me but the other pushes me to think about using my life for the better!
3. How are you going to make money?
Technology is a crazy thing, making the impossible possible in so many ways. In the olden days an art degree basically meant you were hoping to marry someone rich.
Today, thanks to technology you can turn almost anything into a career. I personally have a friend who started making YouTube videos of him talking about random things. He enjoyed making funny videos, guess what culture told him to do? Get a job. Instead he made funny videos and figured out how to make money off of them. Thanks to YouTube commercials and sponsorships he now makes over $100,000 a month doing what he loves. Now, was it easy? No…not even a little bit. Making money online is crazy hard but the point is work your tail off and study your craft and figure it out. The point is there are so many opportunities to make money that never existed in the past.
Find your passion, and be smart about it and you can turn it into a career. That art degree can be worth more than a PhD, especially if you love what you do. Then you get paid to do something you would have done for free and THAT’S the American dream.
4. Are you seeing anyone?
Yep I saw someone earlier today when I was at the grocery store and I saw another person when I was sitting at a stoplight. I see people all the time. I don’t know who turned “Ring by Spring” into a popular quote but I really wish they hadn’t. It’s true there’s a TON of opportunity to meet people in college and if you meet “the one” then high fives and hugs all around. The harsh reality is that most (opinion) college students aren’t really ready for a serious relationship so it’s actually not the best time to be trying to start forever. Who you are as a freshmen in college and who you are as a senior are usually two different people, just like the stretch from 22 to 25. College is a great time to learn languages, hobbies, how to change oil, start a club, because all of that will put you in the company of other driven people, maybe even the one? College puts enough pressure on relationships as it is so there’s little good that this question can do. Ask me about my hobbies instead!
5. Are you STILL living at home?
As a Christian I’m not a huge fan of what culture has done with the gospel. One of the things that has been manipulated to extremes is living with people, especially parents.
When you graduate college not only do you have debt, but sometimes you don’t always have a job right away. If you get along with your parents, why not stay with them? Plus rent is a horrible investment; you’re helping someone else pay off their mortgage!
If you can live at home it’s literally the smartest thing to do…not go off and get your “independence” spending money that could be going towards your college debt or a down payment on a house or ANYTHING else. Not only that but Biblically, we’re called to live in community. So many bad things happen when we’re isolated including addictions and opportunities for the devil to tell you lies. If someone is living at home, congratulate them please because it’s awesome.
Culture is a weird beast. Their voice is so loud and their advice is so confident yet they’ve failed time and time again. College years can be some of the most moldable years of your life, which is awesome but can be dangerous when culture is your conscience. The best thing college kids need to hear is encouragement, so when in doubt, compliment them!