As Halloween approaches, your thoughts begin to turn towards nightmares, ghouls and horrifying apparitions, but for the unwary student there is one fear in particular which haunts your dreams, jumps out at you when you least expect it and hangs over you at otherwise jovial family gatherings. It is, of course, the question: ‘So what are your plans for after you graduate?’.
This article will guide you through the many possible answers to this most devilish of questions, and will hopefully ward off any further quizzing from nosey great-aunts better than garlic would ward off a vampire.
1. I’m taking up flintknapping’
Flintknapping is an ancient craft that involves shaping flint into useful tools or weapons. This response is great because most people won’t have a clue what you’re talking about and won’t want to look silly by asking so they’ll probably leave you alone. It’s most effective if you leave little piles of chipped flint around everywhere you go and start cutting your steak with a knapped axe-head.
2. ‘I’m going to clown school’
Pretty self-explanatory, just lob a cream pie in their face for added pizazz and run.
3. ‘I’m going to do a Viticulture and Oenology Masters’
Say this whilst drinking the cheapest red wine you can find, preferably from a box. (FYI it’s a masters that specialises in cool-climate wine production - find out more here).
4. ‘What degree?’
Deny all knowledge of ever having embarked on a university course. Insist that, for the past few years, you have been living with your parents and perfecting the art of making grilled cheese sandwiches. Offer to demonstrate the intricacies of grilled cheese sandwich construction. Watch as they swiftly leave, doubting their sanity, or yours, or both.
5. ‘I am too drunk to hear your question’
Now Student Hut would never EVER recommend or endorse drinking more than 2 units of alcohol per day, but if you know tonnes of people will ask you that exact question, it might make dealing with it easier. Or it’ll make you cry with fear everytime it happens. Either way, drink enough and you won’t even remember being asked by the morning.
6. ‘I am becoming a nun/monk’
Nod gently and smile sweetly, as if you are filled with inner peace, calm and spirituality when in reality you’re about three seconds away from punching Uncle Douglas.
7. ‘I will not be graduating. I have failed every assignment of every module’
Say this sadly, but resignedly. This should have the effect of making whoever asked you feel so terrible that they change the subject immediately to cover up their embarrassment.
8. ‘I’m going to The Upside-Down’
Hopefully you’ll find at least one person at the party who has also seen Stranger Things. Talk to them about that instead. Do not let them leave, for they are your protection.
9. ‘I am joining the Foreign Legion’
Start muttering to yourself in French whilst staring menacingly at them until they go away.
10. ‘I’m going to run away and join the circus’
At this point, everyone will laugh at your ‘joke’. Quickly take the humour out of the situation by demonstrating your unicycling skills around the dining room in the middle of dinner.
11. ‘I am going to Numenor to research the decline in Kirinki birds’
Anyone who responds with “Oh yeah, I know about that. It’s such a tragedy…” then proceeds to inform you all about it is an idiot. This is not a suitable area for biology research, this is a Lord of the Rings reference.
12. ‘Meow. Meeeooow. MEEOOW’
If they ask you again, hiss loudly and swipe at their arms with your fingernails. For the really annoying repeat offenders, offer them a barely-alive mouse.
13. Exit, pursued by a bear.
Preferable to spending one more second being grilled on your plan for THE REST OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE when you’re only 20 and, to be perfectly honest, very happy just figuring things out as you go along. Here’s to you - cheers!