It’s that time of year where seniors brace themselves for an onslaught of college questions from well-meaning adults. There seem to be a lot of them. Well-meaning adults, that is. Whether it’s your aunt, your neighbor, or that random lady in aisle 5 at the Village Market, there’s always someone else who wants to learn everything about your college experience.

It gets old. Really quickly.

I’ve noticed that no matter where I go, I get asked the same questions by every adult that crosses my path. I can count on one hand the number of interactions I’ve had where people have asked me about something else besides college. If I had a dime for everyone who has asked me to name my schools, I might actually be able to afford college.

But I digress. To best combat this constant, irritating interrogation, I’ve assembled a catalogue of typical questions and a series of responses that can be used to ward off any further inquiries. These tried-and-true responses are sure to provide a rewarding dialogue with relatives and well-wishers alike.

Q: Are you getting any sleep?

A:  What? Yes, I think I’m averaging about four hours a zzzzz…

Q: Have you taken any standardized tests?

A: Yes, actually! I’ve taken the SAT, ACT, PSAT, SAT II, 10 APs, the CMT, GCSE, LSAT, GRE, MCAT, OWL, NEWT, OMG, LOL, and the DMV. JK!

Q: What did you get on SAT/ACT?

A: I got a migraine from the ACT. The SAT was a little easier; I only got a headache.

Q: What schools are you applying to?

A:  I’ve applied to the Massachusetts Institute of Pomposity, the University of Jockville, Impetuous College, and the School for Overachievement.

Q: What do you want to major in?

A:  I’m considering a major in procrastination or avoidance, but I haven't decided which one.

Q:  What about a minor?

A:  I’ve narrowed it down to The Art of Healing Crystals, or maybe Kale Farming.

Q: Have you written your personal essay?

A: My mother's written three and my tutor's submitted about seven, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Q:  Have your parents completed the FAFSA?

A:  Possibly. I heard weeping the other night.

Q: Are you applying to any Ivy League Schools?  

A: Yes. One poison Ivy. Have you heard of Yale's lesser known doppelganger, Jail?

Q: Do you know how much college costs?

A: Of course. More than my 2001 Acura TL but probably less than your 2017 Tesla. Certainly less than your Maserati.

Q: What scholarships are you applying for?

A: I have a good shot at the ‘Pokemon Go Fellowship’ and the ‘Couch Potato Grant.’

Q: Where have you gotten rejected from?

A:  The University of Bad Decisions. Oh, and My Three Sons. Apparently you can be too old to play laser tag.

Q:  What’s your first choice?

A: Hogwarts. I’m sure my letter is on its way.

This guide only covers the tip of the iceberg for students. However, I do have some advice for those adults brave, or possibly stupid enough, to grill a senior.

Q: What’s the best way to ask a senior about college?

A: Don’t.

So, my fellow seniors, if you see someone coming equipped with a questioning air about them, you have this list at your disposal. Of course, there’s always a second option, one I know has a 100% success rate: Run!


Maggie Cummins is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.