What Not to Say to A New College Grad
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5 Horrible Questions to Ask A New College Graduate (And What to Say Instead)

College graduates, you know that the questions asked of you on your graduation day are intrusive, insensitive, and anxiety provoking. The reality is that on graduation day, graduates have probably just finished finals within that week. They probably have gone through so many changing emotions, and they are probably super concerned with the next phase of life without the pressuring questions to dwell on it even more.

With that said, here are 5 questions NOT to ask a college graduate, and what you should say instead.

1. What’s Next?

Let’s just get this one out of the way right now, in case you do not finish reading this article. DO NOT under any circumstance ask a recent college graduate this question.

College is difficult. The classes, the independence, the friendships, the relationships, the isolation, the distance from home, the difficulty finding yourself, everything is difficult. A college graduate has just overcome all of those things in addition to finals, theses, and the financial strain to pay for the ceremony.

A recent college graduate certainly may not have the energy to think of what’s next, or to explain it to you. Let them enjoy this milestone before rushing them to do another task after they just completed a million.

What To Say Instead

I am so proud of you for completing this landmark in your life. I know that your future will be bright regardless of what you choose to do next.

2. When Are You Getting Married?

This is asked to girls more than guys, but still asked to guys too. People do not go thousands of dollars in debt to find a spouse. Trust me

What To Say Instead

I know college was a difficult four years. Please take a short self-care break and focus on YOU.

3.How Much Debt Are You In?

I did not realize that this was a question until a number of people commented with this on my Tuesday Topic Question on Instagram. You know how it is rude to ask someone their salary? It is also rude to ask someone about their debt!

Unless you are going to pay it, mind your business; and if you are, your leading question should be “Can I help you pay your debt?”

What To Say Instead

I know that college was expensive. Here is a monetary token of my love to show you how proud I am of you. *Hand the graduate a card filled with money. * Any amount is appreciated. Trust me!

4. Was it Worth It?

This one annoys me because after spending 4-5 years of my life, investing my blood, sweat, tears, and hard-earned money, your question to me is “Was it worth it?” It sure as hell better have been.

What To Say Instead

I know that college was not an easy task. Continue to work hard at all you do and follow your passion, and everything will come together.

5. Have You started Applying to Jobs? / Any Jobs Lined Up?

Don’t ask this. It is none of your business. Again, college was hard work and new college graduates want to enjoy their moment, not think about MORE work.

What To Say Instead

I know that job-searching can be a daunting experience, especially for a recent college graduate. If I see any jobs that you qualify for, I will send them to you.

Question of the Week

What Question ahould you not ask a new college graduate?

Answer By Siiiimmongaaa, Loyal Instagram Follower

|Instagram |

[I am] not a college graduate, but those nosey people who want to know your marks and ask invasive questions about your future

Answer By Melanie, Lifestyle Blogger |Instagram |

What do you plan to do with that degree?
I absolutely agree with Melanie on this one. My reply would be, "Well, considering that I have worked so hard for it, I think I will stare at the diploma for about an hour and kiss it. Then I'll frame it and hang it up somewhere. Oh and start my career."

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Final Thoughts

Do not be the insensitive person who asks these invasive and anxiety provoking questions to a recent college graduate. If you think your question could cause the college graduate anxiety, simply say “congratulations” and move along.

About the Author

Mish (Pronounced Meesh) Truth has always been a natural social justice advocate. She now holds BA in Psychology and will hold an MSW by May 2021. She is currently a goal coach, a tutor, and a writer.

She is  is passionate about social justice issues and overall mental wellness. This includes knowledge on how to develop healthy relationships, and awareness mental and medical illnesses, and social justice issues.

Growing up in an urban, low income, community, she learned a lot before her time. She credits her success to her self awareness and desire for personal growth. 

Her goal is to change the world by affecting at least one person, educating them, inspiring them, and then empowering them to go out and affect more change. 

Mental Wellness Mondays offers the following
Coaching Programs 

  • Strategic Goal Planning 
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Mish is a millennial and a social worker. She currently holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) and is in the process of obtaining her Doctor of Social Work (DSW). She currently works as a Case Manager and has previously provided Intensive In-Home Therapeutic Services. Though therapy remains a passion, she learned that it could be very rigid and some people really just need Coaching. With this, she started a mental wellness coaching program. You can learn more about that here: https://mentalwellnessmonday.com/self-love-coaching-goal-coaching/

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