Freshman FAQ: The 5 Questions Your Relatives Will Ask Over Break

Once college becomes a big part of your life, most grown adults will completely forget how to talk to you about anything else. It’s a fascinating thing, really. You start applying to schools seniors year of high school, and every conversation is about your targets and your safeties and how many times you took the SAT. It becomes a bit exhausting, but once you get in and can brag to them it’s worth it. Then, you will go off to school, and nobody will ever mention it again. Coming home for your first major break and seeing your entire family, that will be re-hashed to a greater extent. Here are some questions that you will certainly be asked, so you can prepare yourself for an abundance of monotonous discussions.

1) “So, how’s your roommate?”

Roommate questions, especially if you didn’t come in with somebody from high school, are big ones. Often, your relationship with your roommate can dictate a lot of your decisions and feelings towards Penn State early on. Be honest about this. You don’t have to love the kid, but as long as it’s not contentious you’ll be fine.

2) “Do you like your classes?”

No, you don’t really like your classes. Most freshman year classes are droll, base-level stuff and you’d rather be out experiencing everything else college has to offer. A good response to this is, “They’re awesome, I’m learning a lot!”

3) “Meet a guy/girl yet? LOL make sure you use protection!”

Thanks, family member. There is literally no good/non-awkward way to answer this. If you have met someone and are dating them or whatever, the question immediately turns to how serious it is and if you like them a lot and all the questions you hated hearing about high school significant others. If no, you can seem either like a prude or promiscuous, and while both of those taboos are total, total bullshit, your 50-something family members are probably less accepting. The contraception comments are always a fun addition, too. “Yeah Aunt Meredith, I’ve become a big fan of Trojan Ultra Thins. Don’t worry!”

4) “What do you need to bring back?”

You over-packed when you came here. So naturally, your family wants to send you back with three hand-knit sweaters, a pound of lasagna, and a pennant they hung up in their dorm in ’84. They’ll ask you about your meal plan and spending, and your uncle will sneak you a $20 and tell you to spend “on a few beers.” You literally don’t need any of these things, but you will gladly take them. Free shit is free shit. “You know, they don’t take meal points or LionCash at Wings Over, and I get that a lot when I study…”

5) “So, are things, like, uhm, are things good up there now? Like is it back to normal?”

It may have been more relevant the past few years than this one, but everyone wants to ask what Penn State is like in the post-Sandusky scandal era. This question is especially funny because most people on campus have experienced only the post-Sandusky scandal era. What’s funnier is that, they likely have absolutely no clue what it was like beforehand anyway even if they’re alums, so you could literally say anything. “Actually we’ve devolved to pre-historic man beasts and burn Mark Emmert statues in effigy when we pray for rain.”

Now that you’re prepared, go out and kick ass on the borderline interrogation you’re about to receive. Just don’t mention that night you passed out on a bench outside Canyon Pizza and about that 73 you got on your ECON 102 exam. Good luck, freshmen. You can do it.

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About the Author

Noel Purcell

Noel Purcell is Onward State's Features Editor. He's a senior Supply Chain major, but is going to law school at some point in the future and masquerades as a writer for now. He continues to disappoint his ancestors by being a complete Irish stereotype. His email is [email protected] because there were no other Noels before him. His ex-wife got the good half of his bio in the divorce settlement.

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