Now that most of us have traded in cubicle-desks for the weirdly shaped ones in Schermerhorm, Bwog’s Token Preprofessional takes a retrospective look at his nine-to-five summer, and a prospective look at where we go from here… 

You’re a rising senior back at Columbia for one final go-around with a flexible schedule, available co-eds, an indulgent social life, and a license to liberally “explore and experience” the world around you. The life of the modern undergraduate is amazing for a variety of reasons, but while bathing in its sunset, we seniors become increasingly aware of the rapidly engulfing “real world” that fills in the growing shadows with responsibility, poverty, and a sobering reminder that you’re not special.

In general, you’ve:

A) Spent the summer at an internship in a field that you’re kind of excited about, but only in a “thanks to this job offer, I won’t be moving back in with my parents after graduation” type of excitement. Honestly, though, you accepted that as the point of the internship long ago. You worked your ass off to land that offer, and if finding a big-boy job the old fashioned way is any harder, then the market must be really bad. Settling for immediate entrance into the “upper middle class” is going to be good enough for now. Fulfillment, you assert, is for people with inherited wealth or artists. You’ve got debt to pay, and hopefully a spouse and kids isn’t too far off in the horizon.

You’re coming back to campus with some newly acquired (mastered, as far as your resume is concerned) skills. You’re a Powerpoint wizard, Excel is your bitch (Look, mom! No mouse!), and, if your firm is “cool,” some solid D in foosball. You author status updates and outline “next steps” with an admirably efficient, yet uniformly droning and neutral, prose. You now have a sixth, Spidey sense for when a meeting has gone too long, and you get a little tingle down below from a streamlined, actionable conclusion.

As a result of your temporary acclimation to the office environment, you have a decently flushed out opinion about the Heat versus the Thunder and Lebron versus Jordan; you can explain why Federer is the greatest man to ever hold a racquet; you’re ashamed of Jonah Lehrer, even if you have always enjoyed his articles; and you conveniently took the moderate position, arguing that modern women definitely can’t have it all, but they that they should. You totally think McKayla Maroney deserved a perfect ten, and you secretly think that she’ll be a perfect 10 in one year, two months, and twenty-nine days.

You discovered the virtue of a monthly metro card.

You probably have a full-time job offer, and you probably told your parents with pride and confidence, “I’m relieved to have this as insurance, but that won’t stop me from pursing other offers and taking advantage of all the career resources available at Columbia.” You probably won’t. You reason that it’s your senior year, and you deserve to enjoy it. Senior night is totally worth compromising on your future.

B. You wish the above were you, but you were underemployed as an intern, and must play the job market game another time around.

C. You’re independently wealthy, which ironically means that you aspire to be poor. You wear clothes from a thrift store to your unpaid, publishing internship, and you live at home—on the Upper East Side.

D. You’re delusional. 53% under/unemployment means that no one cares about your overeducated opinion about income inequality or the subtlety of Mitt Romney’s racism. Blue pill; red pill.

 businessman via RandomApples