Ask a Fifth-Year: No beards, no videogames, just panic

Jacob Horn

Dear Jacob,

In your last column there was talk of beards and video games concerning winter break. How did you actually spend your break?


Consistently Curious

Well, Curious, there was really only one thing I did this winter break. It wasn’t carousing about in an eccentric fashion, having wild adventures beyond belief. It wasn’t a month filled with quiet contemplation, delving inward to peer into the depths of my very soul and discover my true self. No, Curious, what I did over break was panic. I panicked as hard as I could.

Are you aware of this concept known as the real world? It exists — I’m fairly certain, otherwise years of teenage and college movies have been lying to my face. Perhaps you’ve encountered it briefly, during a summer break perhaps. Maybe you’ve worked a nine-to-five job to make money during those sunny months when you should have been using that time for more important things, like not doing important things.

Or maybe you’ve seen “the real world” through an internship, grinding away hours by doing meaningless tasks that you will trump up on future resumes. The time you spent stuffing envelopes will be renamed “official office manager.” Aimlessly surfing the web will turn into “manages free time efficiently.”

Or maybe you’ve seen “The Real World” on MTV. Don’t be confused. It is only somewhat like that.

You see, Curious, I panicked over break because I’ve seen “The Real World” in all three of those listed iterations and I only want to go back to the MTV one. It is a dull and drab place that I will soon find myself in since, as my title dictates, I am a fifth year and have delayed my graduation to the best of my abilities.

Maybe I can trick the Registrar into letting me tack on another minor to ensure that I stay here a sixth year, but that would involve more work than I care to do.

I panicked about job prospects. Those prospects become sorely limited when you consider that I am an English and trombone major — an English and trombone major who has no desire to attend graduate school. That right there eliminates about 95 percent of my post-graduation options.

Any prospective employers would want to know my ambitions and skills so that they could gauge if I would be a suitable employee. My only ambition is to be snarky in print, which this article shows I do — poorly.

My skills include being able to name all of the misfit toys on the Island of Misfit Toys — from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — and my uncanny ability to imitate Joe Lieberman. Future employers take note.

So there you have it. That’s what happened over break. No beards, no videogames and a whole butt-load of stressing out. Also, I got some Rehasher vinyl, which is Joram Zbichorski’s favorite band. Ask him about it.

That’s it for now, feel free to e-mail me any questions you have to and I will do my best to contrive a crass response.