The 8 Steps to Impressing Your Relatives While Home From College
I assume that if you are a reader of this blog, you are an engaged and excited person. There are a few things you need to remember to do and a few things to avoid when going home for college. You obviously want to give off the impression that you are doing quite well, and that there is not any reason for anyone to worry. We don't need any more texts from our parents asking about our homework, so here's 8 steps that will help you impress your relatives. Get them off your back! Here's how:
1) Talk about your future plans
It’s good to be the guy who has a lot of potential, but doesn’t really have to act on it. Everyone roots for young people, especially your relatives. In my family, if you have plans for your next move, you’re good. Any idea you have can be good with the right amount of detail. What are you doing this summer? After graduation? Have a plan. Make sure that when someone asks you if you have any plans, just say anything. Big or little, it doesn’t matter. Never tell someone that you “have no idea what you’re doing."
Even if you don’t know, you can talk about the specific ways you are going to find out. You can tell your family that you aren’t sure, but you have “applied to a few internships” that will help you figure it out. I can’t express this enough: Never tell someone you don’t know, and then leave it at that. Always look for an answer. Not knowing is just admitting defeat. It’s okay to be unsure, but it’s not really okay to settle in uncertainty.
2) Talk about your current job
Use your current job to impress your relatives! Talk about what you do, talk about how many hours your work and even talk about your frustrations. Your reflection of your work life says a lot about you. You want to appear to be hard-working, ambitious, and motivated, so expressing admiration for an efficient manager, or a cool mentor is a great idea. If you can find something you would change about the job, mention it. This helps you look smart and innovative, and you need that.
3) If you’re going to brag, know every detail
About two years ago, I started a website called HawesAdvertising.com. It doesn’t exist anymore. I was telling a few relatives about my plan to help design and create advertisements for small businesses, but that was literally all I knew. If you are going to try to go above and beyond and talk about something you are proud of, make sure you know every single little detail. Keep in mind that your relative means well, and they are going to ask a lot of questions. Know the answer, or find it. If you are currently applying for internships, know how many. Know where they are located. Paid or unpaid? How much. How many hours. Everything that you could know, you should know.
4) If you don’t everything, admit it
If you have plans that are vague, uncertain, or underdeveloped, don’t act too excited about it. If you have a plan to move to rent a huge apartment with a bunch of friends, but you haven’t done any planning or calculating, be upfront. Say “It’s just an idea right now” or “I haven’t put all the numbers together.” The worst thing you can do is be really excited about a plan that sucks. Your adult relatives have been through a lot. They know what it takes to make rent, they have suffered through their 20s, and they know when a plan isn’t finished. You risk looking stupid or oblivious when you talk about a plan and you can’t back it up with facts.
5) Talk numbers and money
It’s pretty simple. Back up your plans. Know how much your tuition is. Know your cost of living. Know how many units you have completed. Know everything. Everything matters.
6) ...But leave out poor numbers
Bad grades? Don’t talk about them. Good grades are expected, and not that impressive. If you don’t have perfect grades, don’t talk about them. Getting 4 A’s and a D is not going to make you look good. I can't remember a single conversation about grades with my family that focused on the good. One bad grade outweighs any number of good grades. If you have a 4.0 or similar, go for it. Otherwise, leave out the bad numbers! Prioritize your accomplishments and talk about the ones on the top.
7) Agree with every criticism
You’re going to run into something that stumps you. There will be something that your relative will challenge or question. Just make sure you don’t get defensive. Getting defensive won’t turn out well, trust me. Just go with the flow, and follow through with the conversation!
8) Ask for advice
This is the best one if you, unlike me, hate the spotlight. Just get your relatives to talk about themselves. Everyone has a story, and everyone loves to tell it. Not only will this get the attention off yourself, you will probably gain some excellent knowledge!
Being home from college can be hard but these tips will help you to move on from the little details of how you're doing, and let you enjoy the people who you supposedly love. Have a great time!
Thoughts? Please comment right now! Thanks!