January small talk ruins the New Year

Please, for God’s sake, don’t ask me how my Winter Break was

As people come back to NYU for the Spring Semester it appears they’ve brought small talk with them. Endless, mind-numbingly boring small talk. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, it’s inescapable. And it’s not a criticism of character — but please stop. I don’t believe I’m the only one who feels frustrated answering the same question for the seventh time.

Artwork by Steinhart Freshman, Montana Fucci

Artwork by Steinhart Freshman, Montana Fucci

No, my travel plans were not disrupted by Blizzard Jonas. No, I don’t understand why NYU didn’t cancel class on Monday either. Yes, the weather is cold (that tends to happen in January). Yes, I made New Years Resolutions this year. Yes, I have already broken them. Yes, I already have a lot of reading for class. No, I will not be voting for Donald Trump.

I know you don’t really care when I got back to the city. Why do you want to know how my holiday was? It probably contained as much pre-coffee family bickering in the morning as yours did. You can’t possibly remember the travel destinations of every person you talk to. And if you can, don’t put it on your resume- it’s creepy.

Personally I had enough small talk over the holidays attending cocktail parties where bite-sized conversations are consumed over bite-sized canap├ęs.

And then there were the questions that various family members ask on a loop over the Winter Break. Just when you’ve finished telling one of your mother’s friends how your finals went you get hit with the generic ‘How are you settling in to NYU?’ Again.


But back at NYU – the place where no conversation is too controversial – lets skip the “pleasantries” and talk about something real. I want to hear about something real.

The best conversations start talking about the documentary you watched about LSD, or remembering the time when you got talking to a stranger on the street about whales, or that conversation about the outrageous thing that your grandpa shouted at a family dinner.

Need some alternative conversation inspiration? How about you ask your new classmate if they have a lucky pair of knickers. Try filling the awkward elevator silence by sharing your opinion on “scroto photos”. Maybe ask your roommate if they have any hidden freckles that you should know about. Start a debate at lunch as to whether avocados are a fruit or a vegetable. Consider making a strong first impression on your new professor by talking about the benefits of flipping over your pillow to sleep on the cool side.

Sorry but I just don’t care where you got your suntan.

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