Thought Catalog

3 Questions 20-Somethings Are Tired Of Hearing (And 2 Questions To Ask Instead)

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1. “What are you majoring in?”

This question is usually asked by well-meaning adults, ready to beam with pride as the next generation spouts that they want to be a doctor/lawyer/engineer/nurse, etc. For several years, I had no clue what I wanted to major in, so I would honestly tell people I was undecided. That word in association with major seems to generate the same looks as telling them you are passionate about flipping burgers at McDonald’s for a living. I squirm in discomfort when I’m faced with such a question.

2. “When are you and *insert significant others name here* going to get married?”

This can come from family, friends, or acquaintances who call themselves friends but really only know about your life through social media. Let me clarify — I do take dating seriously. I do hope to fall in love and get married someday to an incredible guy who loves Jesus. With that being said, unless I am engaged, do not ask me when I’m getting married. Especially to that guy I just started dating literally yesterday. (You laugh, but that has happened to me twice.) I want to get to know a person and judge for myself if that person is marriage material, and by asking me if I’m going to marry this person right now, you either force me to admit that I don’t know the person well enough to make a decision, implying that this isn’t a serious relationship (and somehow not valid) Or it forces me to hesitantly say yes, even if I’m unsure if that is reality.

3. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Hopefully I’ll be in a better place than where I am currently. Yet no, that’s not the answer they are looking for. They want to know what kind of job I want, where I want to be living, how many kids I want. Let me tell you something — I don’t have any idea what my future in five years looks like. Asking me this question is the equivalent of asking me to recite the Bible in its original Hebrew from memory — I have no fathomable idea. So I feel foolish if I don’t have a detailed plan to give you. I will probably try to move as quickly away from you as humanly possible.

Honestly, if you really want to know anything about me, it would be much better for you to ask me any of these instead…

1. “What are you passionate about?”

Let me tell you, I have interests in lots of things. It is part of the reason I haven’t been able to pick a major all these years and gave you blank stares when you asked me about it. I adore writing- — I have an obsession with words, languages, literature. I love studying people-how they act, what causes them to do the things they do, or feel the way they do. I could spend hours listening to a person talk about themselves — because I love it. I also have a passion for Youth Ministry, and helping teenagers develop and grow a relationship with God.

I dare you to ask me what my passions are. Just be prepared to listen for awhile.

2. “How are you and [insert significant others name here] doing?”

I would love to tell you about how this guy I’m with makes me smile, makes me happy, and in general makes my days a little brighter. I’d rather you ask me this than ask when I’m marrying the guy, because chances are I will probably have a lot of honest great things to say about him and hilarious stories to tell you about our awkwardness. On the off-chance things aren’t going so well or I’ve suddenly become single, don’t worry about it. I won’t flesh out the negatives details of my relationship on you. I’ll save that for my best friends.

So if you want to have an actual conversation about my life with me, then I’ve just given you a foothold. If you are just looking for small talk, go ahead and proceed with any of the first three questions — I promise we won’t be holding a conversation for long if you do. TC mark

featured image – Thomas Hawk

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