3 Things Not to Say to a Graduating Senior

ffae78e3-0604-44da-976c-6a6b31bf9b5fThe time is quickly approaching– the time when I’ll walk across the stage, grab my diploma, and graduate from college. It’s definitely a time filled with emotions, and many people have congratulated me on my almost graduation. Among all the good wishes, there’s also been a lot of repetition. If you know a senior who is graduating, here are a few things not to say, and suggestions for what to say instead.

  1. “What are you going to do when you graduate?” This is a classic. I understand a lot of people are genuinely interested, but we’ve all been asked this question at least a hundred times, and most of us don’t have an answer. Instead of asking what our future plans are, ask about how the year has been going so far. Consider asking, “what’s been the best part about senior year so far?”, “Have you done anything especially fun recently?”, “Are there any classes this semester that you’re really excited about?” Seniors spend so much time thinking and talking about the future, it’s nice to talk about the present every once in a while.
  2. “It’s all going to work out.” If you did ask a senior Question #1, and their response is that they’re not sure about the future, refrain from telling them this. Honestly, as someone who’s unsure of what my life will look like in two short months, someone telling me that everything is going to be fine, doesn’t help much. Instead, if you’re an adult, talk about how you felt graduating from college. If you’re an underclassman talking to a senior, tell them you can’t imagine being in their shoes. If you think it’s going to work out, tell them why– don’t just leave it at that.
  3. “It seems like just yesterday you were a freshman.” Yeah, I know. It seems like that to us sometimes too. Seniors often reminisce about freshman year and talk about how quickly time has passed. It often seems like the past four years have flown by, but I also look at my freshman self and see how far I’ve come. I was very different when I started college, and like to think I’ve grown up a lot since then. I’ve sat in hundreds of hours of classes, written thousands of papers, laughed, cried, and eaten a lot of food from the cafeteria. Though it sometimes seems like freshman year was just yesterday, seniors have come a long way since them and often view themselves as being in a completely different stage of life now.

Whatever you do talk about with your friends who are seniors, don’t stop talking to them about life! This post was not at all meant to discourage you, but quite the opposite– teach you how to talk to them better.