by Andrew Hogan
If you have ever uttered a phrase similar to “ugghh, I hate people”, this guide is for you. If you’re a functional, self-confident person and think the idea of a good time is being around lots of people all doing the same thing, then I think you already know all this; so good luck to you.
Below are some common questions posed to uni students, and some ideal and not-so-ideal responses for the people who overthink.
1. Have you made any friends yet?
Actual response: “No, everyone sucks. The young ones are too cool and the old ones are always asking off-topic questions in lectures. Plus everyone seems to already be friends with each other and no one laughed at my joke during orientation. So I’m pretty much aiming to be the quiet one who goes unnoticed. Get in, get out and don’t bother anyone, because they won’t bother with me.”
Maybe what I should have said: “Not yet.”
2. You’re doing physiotherapy huh? Now I know where I can get free physio treatment!
Actual response: *laughs along with the highly original, semi-serious quip*. *Thinks* or maybe I’ll charge you double.
Maybe what I should have said: “Or maybe I’ll charge you double!” And chuckle with the person, because it’s harmless and banter seems to be popular among uni students (can replace physio with dentistry, pharmacy, medicine, etc)
3. How long is your degree?
Actual response: “The same length of time it was last time you asked me.”
Maybe what I should have said: “It’s three years, with a fourth-year compulsory Honours, which is mostly just prac. I’m in first year now, and haven’t had my first prac yet, it’s next year. How’s your job / kids / wife / wedding planning / house / rash / dog going?” (If someone is asking you this question in particular, they genuinely care about the answer, so give them a good one).
4. So how’s uni going?
Actual response: “Yeah it’s pretty good…”
Maybe what I should’ve said: “Yeah it’s pretty good.” (A general question deserves a general answer)
5. When are you coming home next?
Actual response: “Dunno. When are you going to visit me for once?”
Maybe what I should’ve said: “Well, through session my workload gets pretty hectic, plus I’m not sure about work. Hey, I’ve got an idea! How about you come visit me one weekend? I can show you around town and we can do a crawl to all the small country pubs. It’s actually not bad here.” (Then, if they don’t visit, they are the bad friend, not you. People seem to think the country stops at the Blue Mountains; family and friends may need some “encouragement”.)
6. Are you coming to bar night?
Actual response: “Ahhmm, screw that! I get enough anxiety from being around people in class, I don’t need the added stress of a party setting as well! You wouldn’t want me there anyway.”
Maybe what I should’ve said: “Why yes, I believe I will attend the festivities. I can show you how to cut a rug and you can watch me wreck people at beer pong.” (Bar nights are actually pretty fun, when I finally went to one I didn’t regret it.)
7. What did you put for question 24?
If you don’t make an acquaintance after hearing this question, then you’re not trying hard enough! There are no wrong answers here. If you had no idea for question 24 then you two can bond over being inadequate together. If you think you nailed it, then explain why you’re the king of question 24, then console if they got it wrong, or congratulate if they got it right. Then tell them you’ll catch them later (always leave them wanting more).
Actually, if you respond with a “please don’t talk to me”, that might be a wrong answer.