You know how adults always ask kids what they're going to be doing for college when they graduate high school? That super annoying thing where strangers put you on the spot to make statements and predictions about the whole of your personal future? I totally do that.
I'm thinking about it because I saw this tumblr post:
all adults do is ask me about my plans for college like don't you want to know what my favorite color is
That post made me think about how it's kind of shitty of me to ask that question. I really only ask it at work (at the workplace I can't disclose) because I work with a lot of people still in high school. I have very few tools for small talk even with people in my own age group, but when I'm talking to a high schooler, I'm basically screwed.
I can't really relate to them through shared experience, because I've grown slightly jaded about all the common experiences of teenage life, I generally can't have deep, philosophical discussions not because they're kids but because most people hate those conversations, and I can't even fall back on the piece of small talk most readily accessible to me in my daily life at school: "What's your major?"
I think I need to look into other things I can say to new people I meet who are sixteen. They've almost definitely got enough people hounding them about whether or not they've decided to take on a lifetime of debt for four years of potentially useless training in stuff they might not even care about.
Of course, that leaves me with basically nothing to talk about at work. Which is fine. I guess I'll just have to learn to be less awkward.
Or read a book. I generally have a book.