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St. Olaf Sentiments: March 13, 2015

Skills for the Real World

The singing birds, the scent of damp earth in the air, the drops of sunlight reflected in puddles! Gleeful Oles bringing their caf trays and hookahs into the fresh air! Rolling down the car windows and blaring the radio!

It all points to one thing – no, not spring – I mean the fact that I am going to be unemployed and potentially homeless in, like, two months.

It’s time for me to make a thorough inventory of the marketable skills I’ve acquired in this hallowed institution of learning. When I agreed to take out student loans that I would have to barter my firstborn in order to repay, I assumed that along the way I would acquire some skills that would bring all the employers to the yard.

The first one that comes to mind is definitely my ability to sleep in any location, at any time of day. The thinly-carpeted floor of the library? Yes. A couch in the middle of Tomson traffic, under the scrutinizing glare of every administrative figure? Especially yes. This should signify to prospective employers that I am adaptable. I don’t rely on an established routine; I take initiative and step outside my comfort zone.

Another quality that I think will land me a solid, no-food-stamps-necessary salary is my ability not to care what I look like while dancing. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a picture of yourself dancing at the Pause or a similarly, erm, laissez-faire off-campus venue, but I can assure you, you look like a hot mess. I am no exception – in fact, I have had the misfortune of confronting the photographic evidence – and I have learned to embrace it.

This fearlessness is actually quite the sought-after “transferable skill.” My possibly delusional lack of self-consciousness will enable me to project confidence and charisma during my super legit professional presentations on business-type charts and stuff.

I would also note the resourcefulness I demonstrate in seeking out myriad forms of melted cheese on weekend evenings. A basic human settles for slice or two of Pause pizza, but as an outside-the-box critical thinker, I combine my pizza with delicassies from Taco Bell and even the grossly underrated mecca of processed fare that is Kwik Trip. I don’t settle until I’ve achieved the exact ratio of carbs to saturated fat that will knock me into a stupor. If that isn’t being a go-getter, I don’t know what is.

To highlight my superior problem-solving capacity, I would point to my successful handling of mold problems in every dorm room I’ve lived in. Never mind whose negligence created the mold in the first place; that’s neither here nor there. What matters is that I have always eliminated it, like a boss.

What allows me to sleep peacefully at night knowing that I am a viable candidate for paid, non-imaginary employment is my superior ability to enter a room ten minutes late and convince everyone it’s not a big deal by acting like it’s not a big deal.

I’ve exercised this mind control on just about every professor I’ve had, and let me tell you, I have perfected it. No supervisor will ever be able to perceive my flaws – namely, regular tardiness – if I refuse to acknowledge them!

Writing this has been a tremendous relief. I trust that I will nail the segue from graduation to the 9-to-5 world. Some pessimists would have you believe that a Bachelor of Arts degree isn’t worth what it used to be, but I know that these four years have granted me a full arsenal of marketable skills. I expect that a year from now, you’ll be reading my success story on the St. Olaf Web site. Um ya ya!

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