How To: The Five-Year Plan

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As soon as I was initiated, I made friends with the upperclassmen. I knew they had the knowledge that I would need to succeed in not only the fraternity, but also life. When I weighed all the advice that was given to me, I realized there was a universal underlying theme: Stay in college for as long as you can. The longer I was in school and the more fun I had, the more and more I realized that was the reality of the situation.

There’s an internal conflict that every college student will face, and that’s to avoid the impending doom of real responsibility at all possible costs. There are a few strategies for this, but some are better than others. You can straight up graduate and not get a job, not pay bills, not file taxes, not use birth control, and not pay child support. While that’s a pretty effective strategy, it’s obviously not the best one. You can also graduate and get a postgrad internship, which is a slightly more appropriate strategy, but still just terrible. Do you want to live on the fringe without a steady income? DO YOU? I didn’t think so. The best strategy, however, is the one that I chose and there are only two key principles. So let’s learn how to make your life seem like it’s in shambles, but it’s actually exactly how you want it. You can call it redshirting your freshman year, you can call it a victory lap, but it’s commonly known as the Five Year Plan. These are some insider’s tips to make that college dream become a reality.

Change your major often.

You’re in college, so you’re not supposed to know what you’re doing. Everyone changes their major, because everyone gets different passions when they grow up. When I was a kid I wanted to be a professional football player. I now weigh 185 with 23% body fat, so yeah… that didn’t happen. I decided to make my major physical therapy. Then I found out that PT schools are incredibly competitive, and my level of competition pretty much maxed out playing Flip Cup. I didn’t make the grades to get into PT school my first semester, and I realized that things were only going to get worse from there. I gave it another year in the program, but I eventually changed my major… to engineering.

I could lie to you and tell you that it was because I understood math and shit, but in reality it’s because I saw Iron Man 2 and thought I could be Tony Stark. Turns out calculus is a real thing. We had class every day at nine in the morning, which by itself is complete horseshit. Add on frequent late-night strip club trips and you have yourself an unsalvageable failing grade by midterms. It might sound bad, but let me tell you, when you’re going to college for five years, five credit hours are just a grain of sand on a beach. I changed my major again to business, and then I declared marketing my first semester of my first senior year. I strongly suggest marketing, because even the illiterate non-traditional students were able to pass all of the classes with flying colors. When my parents told me that they were going to stop helping me pay for college if I changed my major again, my plan was already set in motion. If your parents do the same when you change your major, just do the same thing that I did. Lie. Lie forever.

Sign up for 18 hours per semester.

This sounds like a bad idea, but bear with me for a second. You’re not going to all of your classes, and that’s bound to reflect on your grades. Go to all of your classes for the two weeks after syllabus week, and figure out which one is going to be the one that you will drop. This is going to make you look like an all-star student who goes the extra mile, and that’s the look you want. If anyone questions you, saying that they think you’re never going to graduate, you can look at them dead in the eyes and tell them a very convincing half-truth: “I’m taking eighteen hours a semester. Time management isn’t my strong suit, and it’s hard to focus on six different subjects at once.” You drop your least favorite class, have a more open schedule, and you look like you’re trying to be proactive towards your academic career.

There is a secondary effect of this principle which is really just the icing on the cake. If you plan your schedule right, and figure out which classes you will drop at the right time, you can set yourself up with the easiest twelve credit hour schedule for your final year or semester. If someone starts catching on to you, just let them know that the school doesn’t offer the classes you need during the semesters that you need to take them. Bonus points if you tell the truth during that part and actually plan it around the school’s fucked up class availability list.

By the time you’ve been in school for five years, you’re going to be burnt out of it. If you’ve done everything correctly, it will be the best damn five years of your life so far, but you’ll be ready for it to come to an end. The younger guys are going to piss you off, there’s going to be a desire to start filling your bank account, and you’re going to be ready to move on. It’s going to be sweet when you graduate, but you will miss the lack of responsibility. I guess if you really don’t want responsibility, you can go to that one thing I said earlier about neglecting reality and being a piece of human trash. But hey, you got a fucking degree.

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