I hate my PhD program. I absolutely despise the program and many people in it. Sometimes at conferences, with new faculty, etc. I get asked what I think of my program. The real answer is "it's horrible, I despise it and I totally regret going. Please stay far away".
I don't want to lie and many people seem genuinely curious especially new grad students/faculty etc.
When I say things like this, the conversation either turns really awkward or they start asking questions. I really just want to keep my head down, do my job, and finish. I don't want to complain. I don't want to cause problems. I just want to do my job.
Many people seem genuinely interested like new faculty etc. I hate lying. And I especially would hate saying anything good about the program after being burned. I felt like when I was choosing grad programs people lied to me about this one and I'm super resentful. I never want to do that to someone.
I also don't really want to elaborate because some things are sensitive. Say, a professor is a jerk and is screwing me over somehow. I don't really want word to get out that I'm talking about that person.
I've found answers like "Well, I'm working on a cool project right now" or other deflecting responses sometimes work but some people keep pushing and really want to know.
How to I respond to this question without lying?