I'm always flattered when guests in the restaurant think I'm still a student. Especially if they're younger than 90, when anyone under 45 still appears to be in the flower of their youth. Awhile ago, I decided to just answer the questions without a timeline in my response, perchance giving the impression that I've only just graduated, because the discussion begins to get a little strained. It usually goes something like this:
Guest (G): So, are you a student around here?
Lisa (L): I was, but I've graduated now.
G: Great! What's your degree?
L: I have an English degree.
G: Wow, that's really great (clearly this person graduated in something useful, or they'd never say that)! And now?
L: Sweeps hands around to indicated restaurant surrounding her.
G: Well, yeah, but really, what now?
It's at this point that I start to flounder for something to say. Should I defend my right to be "just" a waitress if I want to? Discuss how pointless it is to get an English degree if you aren't going to go on to teach? Tell him about my secret double life as a blogger? Tell him I'm really a writer? artist?
L: Well, I really want to open a restaurant some day.
Gets me off the hook every time.
Of related interest: Why I am a Waitress.