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A To-Do List For Rising Fifth Years

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pledge master

Shake the stigma of a deferred graduation with these 10 suggestions to marginally improve your fifth-year experience:

10. Tell everyone that you red-shirted a year.

Leave your honesty with your first senior year. No one needs to know you changed majors twice, or that you failed quantitative methods (also twice). Take the Matt Ryan approach and tell everyone you red-shirted a year and you’ve decided to finish your education first, because, barring a catastrophic knee injury, the millions will still be there next year.

9. Use the phrase “You’re young enough to be my son/daughter.”

This wonderful quip is applicable to anyone who pledged after you. It’s also applicable to the drunk girl trying to schmooze a few free drinks out of you, as well. Plus, it will draw a lot of ire from the sophomore president when he informs you he’s j-boarding you on baseless allegations of lighting a sleeping pledge on fire and you remind him that you refuse to accept a punishment from anyone young enough to be your son.

8. Drink Old Grand Dad by the handle.

I drink, therefore I am.

7. Tell everyone you’re “too old for the bars.”

In actuality, you’ve probably been using this phrase since your junior year, just so everyone acknowledges that you had a cool fake all along. Better yet, you can tell people you’re sitting out the bar crawl, citing the fact that you were kindly asked not to return to half of them. Hell, by the twilight of your college career, you’re conveniently “too old” for anything you don’t feel like doing.

6. Don’t pay dues.

“I’ve been paying dues since before you were a twinkle in your father’s eyes.” If only that were true. So, you might be a year or two behind. What’s another semester or two of minimal contribution? You buy most of your own beer, anyway.

5. Participate in Greek Sing and other philanthropies.

Greek Sing is way more fun as a fifth year, as long as the girls don’t mind you showing up drunk to a couple practices. Or just not showing up to a couple practices.

Getting involved when you’re 22 and 23 is a splendid opportunity to mend bridges with some other organizations before you ride off into the real world. What better way to beg for a sorority’s forgiveness for accidentally killing one of their member’s rabbits than to show up at their fundraiser? The sorority never did replace the light string their rabbit gnawed, but that’s all water under the bridge now.

4. Pad your body count.

Fifth year is garbage time, so why not run up the score a little? You’ve been slinging it like you’re Tom motherfucking Brady for four years and now so why not punch it in a couple more times before the two minute warning?

3. Move somewhere far from campus.

Once a house mainstay, it’s time to a retire to a nicer, off-campus location, far, far away. Gone are the days of drunken brothers stumbling through your bedroom door and running the electric bill up like they’re balls deep in an arms race. The pledges will bitch and moan incessantly when you need Chipotle brought to your ritzy, new apartment, two miles from the main drag. I hope that little shit has his bus pass handy, because he forgot to grab napkins.

2. Freelance for a frat blog.

It’ll keep the liquor cabinet stocked and your parents will be so proud.

1. Don’t go to chapter.

No one’s coming after a fifth year for spotty attendance. Plus, how can they try your truancy if neither you, nor your counsel is present? That defense should buy you an extra couple weeks to also skip meetings. On the days you DO decide to attend, make the president’s day by hosting a “Margarita Meeting Monday” pregame at your apartment. Who really goes to those things sober, anyway? Drunk brothers always make for productive meetings.

And, at all costs, do NOT run for exec board.

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Kramer Smash

Unabashed Pitt alum with an affinity for brown girls and Manhattans. Send lovelies to

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