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

If you have ever went to college (and graduated), 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.

They 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 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. 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 graduate?

Answer By Siiiimmongaaa, Loyal Instagram Follower

|Instagram |

[I am] not a 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. If you think your question could cause the graduate anxiety, simply say “congratulations” and move along.


  • Ty Deldonno

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      My next new post will be released Monday July 15, 2019. Subsequent posts will be released regularly on Mondays at 7:00am edt.xtrMy next new post will be released Monday July 15, 2019. Subsequent posts will be released regularly on Mondays at 7:00am edt.m

  • Ebony Miles

    This was AWESOME! It was such a Great list. I am one to always think about things before I say them. It was awesome to see what you can say instead of offending someone.

  • Dikeesha

    I would steer away from asking all except question 5. I don’t see anything wrong with having a discussion about job prospects. Besides, the person asking maybe able to make some connections for you.

    • Mish Truth

      It causes a lot of anxiety for many students, as the article mentioned. Also if you are going to give them a connection, it is better to lead with that as the I mentioned in the “What to say instead” sections. However, if you are simply curious and not going to hep. These questions are likely none of your concern

  • Janeane Davis

    These are good questions not to ask recent grads. Unfortunately, these are probably the questions they have already been asked ten times before they saw you today and are sick of answering. It is important to resist the impulse to add pressure to someone else’s life needlessly.

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