Summer calls for plenty of family gatherings from graduation parties to cookouts and everything in between. If you're anything like me, these can get pretty boring fast. You can only tell the same old stories so many times about when you were younger or that awesome vacation you went on. You find yourself scrambling for conversation starters or anything really to pass the time. Don't worry...after way too many of these parties, I have finally learned how to make the time move faster:

1. Use it as a chance to practice your interview skills.

Just like in the working world, we are going to be put into uncomfortable situations where we may not know everyone in the room. Walk up to a party guest that you have never met before or don't know much about and introduce yourself. You never know what you may have in common with this person, or if they could help down the road with future job connections.

2. Organize a group game,

Sure, there may be a volleyball net set up or an empty basketball court, but how well are you going to actually get to know each other this way? Plus, physical activity in the summer heat...no thanks, I'd rather stay inside where it's air-conditioned. Grab some cards and learn things about each other you never would have guessed.

3. Don't forget about the grandparents!

As sad as it may be to think about, the time that we have with our grandparents is limited. Every family event could be the last, so definitely make sure to chat them up! From my personal experience, the conversations I've had with mine were some of the most interesting ones, and I really learned more about our family history.

4. Hit up that annoying uncle/aunt. 

Yeah, it can be annoying when they pinch your cheeks or ask you way too many questions about your personal life. You may also want to run away when they try hugging or kissing you. However, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about yourself, and who doesn't like that? Who cares if they find out about that wild time abroad or that guy you like because, odds are, your mom probably already mentioned something. And maybe if you're lucky, they may slide some cash your way, a broke college kid's dream!

5. Hang out with your siblings, if you have them.

Even if you guys aren't the closest, you can definitely bond over how Aunt Sue is always listening in on everyone's conversations or how Uncle Matt can't seem to stop talking about his "oh so important" job. Or even how that cousin of yours thinks he is "so cool," when really he is the farthest thing from it.

6. And if all else fails...

Take advantage of any open bars or beers in the cooler! No, I am not suggesting getting drunk at a family function, but a little buzz can go a long way— if you are legal and drink responsibly. Conversations seem to flow more easily and people definitely open up more.