There are things you should never ask somebody who is in their 20s, because some things are just not okay to ask.
Here are some examples.
Don’t ask. Ever. :
“how long do you think you’ll be doing this job?”
“what do you think you’ll do after this/that?”
“so where do you see yourself in the next 5 or 10 years?”
“what do you think you’ll do with that degree?”
“so you’re not in school right now?”
“do you think you’ll go to college at some point?”
“is that something you’ll be doing long-term?”
** Not an exhaustive list
I just want to be straight with you and let you know that if (by some miracle) we have our lives figured out, and we know exactly what we want to do and when we want to do it, we’ll tell you.
However, if we don’t voluntarily offer you these details, it means we either have NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, we aren’t where we want to be or doing what we want to be doing, and/or we just don’t want to talk about it! (which is completely, 100% okay) We were probably already stressed about it before you asked, and we have spent plenty of time evaluating our lives, whether we mention it to you or not. And more often than not, when you ask these questions, it feels like an interrogation, not a conversation. I mean that in the nicest way possible, because it’s not you, it’s us. We just need to able to figure things out in our own time in our own way, without the anxiety of small talk turning into a stress-inducing life conversation.
In case you find yourself wanting to ask questions like these to people in their 20s, and are in need of some better conversational topics, here are a few things you can ask that most of us would be (much more) happy to discuss.
Really Excellent and Not Stressful Things to Discuss:
“Can you tell the difference between regular and light sour cream?”
“Describe your ideal pillowcase.”
“What’s one book you are glad you’ve never read?”
“Where do you see yourself in 7 minutes from now?” (this could be literal or figurative)
“On average, how much water do you drink per week?” (estimation is okay for this one)
“Do you like purples?”
“When was the last time you purchased a music album on an actual CD?”
** Also not an exhaustive list
These are all really excellent topics. Personally, I would be honored and even excited to discuss any of these topics with anyone. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by my tiny list to think of even more really excellent topics!
As a guideline, try to stay away from the following words and phrases when coming up with your own really excellent topics to discuss with people in their 20s:
career — school — degree — job — future — money (unless the context is “do you want some money? I have some extra you can have that I don’t need anymore”) — ‘grow up’ — ambitions — goals (this one is particularly dangerous) — 5 year plan — 10 year plan — plan — debt — pay — loan — bills — path — success — forever — permanent — ‘real job’
** This list isn’t exhaustive either. My advice to you – proceed with caution. If you are unsure whether a word or phrase is appropriate for discussion, refer back to the really excellent suggested topics above.
If you are reading this, and you are in your 20s – bless you. Bless your heart and soul. From what I hear, it is going to be okay. If you find yourself bombarded with stress or panic inducing questions related to your future, career, etc, feel free to change the subject or begin repeating the same questions back to the person who is inquiring about your life. If they can ask, they can answer. :)
Be strong and courageous, friends!
♥ Lacey Jane