I’m a junior in high school, and like many others, I’m frequently asked the big question: “Where are you going to college?” Most of the people who ask barely know me. And I feel many are just trying to fill the air. I find the question intrusive and irritating, but I don’t want to be rude. What can I say to steer clear of the college conversation? —Lucia
MANY ADULTS see a 16-year-old and beeline straight for the high-stakes world of college admissions. Personally, I’d rather know what you’re watching on Netflix. It’s more interesting and often something I wouldn’t find on my own. Unfortunately, it’s hard to preempt a question before it’s posed. So the next time someone asks about your college plan, say “I don’t know yet” or “That’s a longer discussion.” Then redirect the conversation: “Did college have a big effect on where you are today?” Hint for the future: Most adults love talking about themselves.
—Adapted from “Social Q’s” in The New York Times Magazine