10 questions you’re going to get during Winter Break and how to answer them all

Hayley Glatter, Managing Editor

Holiday Guide

  1.     Are you and your roommate getting along?

You’ve been sharing a ridiculously small space with a stranger for the last three months, and naturally everyone you’ve ever met is going to want to know if said human is certifiably insane. Well, the receptionist at the dentist’s office doesn’t need to know all the nitty gritty details of that darling dorm cohabitant whom you may or may not hate, so stick with the classic, “She’s a nice girl, and we’re figuring out our own paths.” Unless of course you love your roommate and have already made her your future maid of honor — then feel free to honestly sing her praises.  

  1.     How’s that pre-med track going?

That awkward moment when Dad doesn’t know you dropped Organic Chemistry two weeks into Fall Quarter and have decided to pursue a completely different major that you haven’t picked yet. It’s time to come clean; the jig is up; the cat’s out of the bag. It’s better to go into this one with a stern look on your face and a sturdy looking sweater on your chest so Pops knows that you clearly thought through your decision to not become a doctor. Just say it. Rip this one off like a Band-Aid.

  1.     Why don’t you have a job/internship set up yet?

Smile at your sweet, sweet aunt who doesn’t realize that she has just unleashed the pressure of 1,000 wannabe consultants and Northwestern Career Advancement emails upon you with this seemingly innocent question. Although it makes you want to crawl under your childhood covers, this query is, unfortunately, a legitimate one. It’s best to just smile and divert the conversation to something amazing you actually did accomplish this quarter and then admit that you’re definitely working on finding a job. Who knows, maybe that nosy aunt will have a connection to the field you’re trying to break into anyway.  

  1.     You spend most of your free time in the library, right?

The only answer to this is a broad smile and a resilient “yes.” Grandma does not need to know about that crush party or that one time that thing happened at the Mark II Lounge.

  1.     How is *insert high school friend you haven’t spoken to in three months here* doing?

You literally have not heard from or spoken to Keith from science class since he crawled into his Bloomington, Indiana-bound minivan in August. But your mom always did like sweet Keith and wants to know what he’s up to. The good thing is that there’s a website called Facebook that has allowed you to keep up with the trials and tribulations of Keith’s first semester. Drop in a couple of details from his recent profile pictures and keep Mom from getting nostalgic about all those old friends of yours.  

  1.     How have you managed to avoid the freshman/sophomore/junior/senior 15?

You haven’t. You literally have been gorging on the biscuits in Hinman dining hall for the last three months and you are absolutely not sorry about it, nor should you be. Every single one of those late night Norris C-store purchases was worth it, and the only thing that’s keeping you looking high school-level fit is selective layering. Tell your neighbor that you’ve just gotten really into running since college started and then give that large sweatshirt and chunky scarf an extra hug of gratitude for hiding your figure.

  1.     Tell me about study abroad!

If you’re one of the lucky people who had the life-changing chance to study abroad during Fall Quarter, everyone will undoubtedly be eager to hear stories of your international adventures. The problem with such a broad question is that so much happened that you couldn’t possibly begin to answer without leaving out something crucial. Instead of deep diving into an hours-long conversation about your whole experience, pick a couple of highlights and then start talking about the food you ate. Everyone loves talking about food.

  1.     Wait, Northwestern is good at football?

Yes. Yes, we are good at football, thank you very much. Yes, we put our hands up in the air. Yes, it is incredibly intimidating. Yes, we are 10-2. Yes, we jingle keys. Yes, Ryan Field is the greatest place to be on a Saturday. Yes, Justin Jackson carries balls. You’re welcome.

  1.     Why don’t you call home more often?

Too busy in the library studying. Next question, please.

  1. How do you deal with that Chicago cold?

It honestly hasn’t even been that cold yet this winter, but you can still totally impress that friend of yours who goes to school in California by saying that you haven’t even noticed the chill. This statement may or may not make you seem like a newly minted Midwesterner who eats icicles for breakfast. This may or may not be a good thing.  

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