I have some concerns. Soon I will be going to a friend from Grad School's wedding. I have been excited about it for a while until I realized that I will have to see OTHER people from grad school there. Currently I am the least successful person who graduated from the program.
I need advice on how to deal with this wedding. What do you suggest?
I don't want to make small talk with my successful cohort members
Dear Good at Other Things,
This is a very real concern. I was at a wedding once with a friend who works for the FBI. To hear that success story and then see all eyes turn expectantly to you...yeah, I feel your pain. "...I write a blog. I've got a lot of twitter followers." It's not going to come out well.
So how do you deal with this wedding? The plan I'm suggesting requires a little prep work. First of all, you need to examine your life. Make a list of the things that you're proud of--the stuff you're really nailing in life. Are you dating someone really hot? Have any celebrities tweeted at you lately? Did your new haircut get complimented like, five times at Target last week? Have you been involved in any awesome projects lately? Did your post on tumblr get tons of notes? Did you find a gas station with a great price and text all your friends? I don't care how mundane any of it sounds--this is the foundation of my plan. There are two reasons--the first is that it's important to bolster your confidence a little in these situations. (WEDDINGS, that is.) It's also about to be the first step in a a little research project.
So, are you remembering how awesome you are? Good. You're better than those other grad students.
Now you need to do a little research. It's social media time. All those cohort members who are "more successful" than you? Google them. Facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr. All of it. Focus on those areas where you are awesome. You're dating someone really hot? Time to find out if your classmates are. You're a twitter rockstar? Well how many followers do THEY have? You see where I'm going with this?
You're good at OTHER THINGS.
When you get to this wedding, get yourself a cocktail and mentally review all the stuff that makes you super awesome. (BECAUSE YOU ARE.) When it comes time to talk to the rest of your cohort, let them talk about those jobs. How one dimensional. Your work is not your life! Nod and smile and tell them that's awesome. Before they can ask you, ease the conversation away from work. Direct it towards that list we made. "Did I see that you're in a new relationship?" After those lames tell you about their generic boring girlfriends, they'll ask you. Oh, me? YEAH, I'm dating someone. Check out this hotness. Direct conversation towards your work in the community, or with children, or whatever awesome extracurriculars you've developed. Just constantly redirect the conversation. Stay in the conversation as long as you feel is necessary, and then make your escape.
Then steal all their candy favors from the tables, go home, and tweet to your multitude of followers about your evening.