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Fighting the good fight against reality

Kicking and screaming like a mandrake ripped from its flower pot in some wizard greenhouse, I am being pulled out into the big bad world in a matter of weeks.

No longer will it be viewed as impressive or acceptable to never sleep, encourage my four-pound Chihuahua to eat my work or  make choices based on the ill-advising decision making phone app. Instead, I’m supposed to be a fine young lady, eager to contribute to society 36 hours of each day. 

Fortunately, I had the brilliant idea to trade in that cookie-cutter plan my parents liked to call civil engineering for some bonus time to walk backwards and re-smell the roses in these “best years” of my life by dragging my college career across six years.

Having one backup plan was never enough for me; instead I developed a plan C, D, E, F and to be frank, it would be too embarrassing to divulge just how far my back- up plans go.

If I ever find myself on the unemployed list, I am fully prepared to render my dazzling talents in a multitude of other fields:

MMO Gold Farmer: The secret is out–I am publicly confirming that I am indeed… Asian. Math homework? Easy. Teach an instrument? I know 12. Video games? I’ll make you crawl away crying, wishing you never ventured beyond Windows solitaire. It’s in my genes, next to my calculus chromosome, right? 

Since I don’t have an interest in returning to the motherland anytime soon to command a battalion of Protoss, I figured I could settle for the next best thing. Collecting video game money to sell to the gaming world’s common folk should be child’s play with my genes. Gold, gil, munny or rupees? I’ve got this on lock. 

Fortune Cookie Writer: Three years ago, I cracked open my after-dinner cookie only to balk at the idiotic script in my hand that read “You will receive a fortune (cookie).” Brilliantly terrible, that fortune was a short step up from something a six-year-old could pen. Sizing up my competition, I am convinced I could bang out equally mind-blowing pieces of fate. “A smile is your personal welcome mat (to your face).” Chinatown, watch out!

Paradise home caretaker: It’s a tough world out there, but someone needs to step up to the plate and earn a living by caring for the empty homes and islands of celebrities the 49 weeks of the year no one’s home. Warm weather, sandy beaches and beautiful homes in Bali, St. Thomas and Costa Rica? Please, allow me to step in and take one for the team. 

Waterslide Tester: This job matches well with my hatred for cold weather. Outside all day in the warm sun, it has crossed my mind many times that people get paid to test new water slides and attractions. Only the finest of testers can detect the nuances of each twist and turn and evaluate the comfort of the final impact into the pool. I knew those eight years as a water park lifeguard were good for something beyond a VIP ticket to the high risk skin cancer circle.

And there you have it – four equally plausible back up plan backups I will seriously begin considering come May 14. See, Mom and Dad? Those extra years really let me learn to think before I do. 

Jessica Salch is an advertising and graphic design major from East Peoria. She was the Scout design editor, or at least she was if she showed up.

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