Editors’ Note: This piece is a part of our Camp Yale issue, with opinions by incoming first-years.
Let me be clear: I’m only here to be a corporate serf.
I want that sweet nine-to-five daily grind, the sad salad that I shake at my desk with a blank expression on my face and the disgusting, burnt office coffee that I will consistently call “the sacred nectar of the nondenominational gods” — corporate approved.
My lifelong dream of becoming an overly ambitious, weakwilled yes man finally begins when I first step foot on campus. These four years are the only thing standing between me and sleek, watermarked business cards that I can confidently shove into the hands of unsuspecting people in my potential network that I meet at cocktail parties, happy hours and “friendraisers”; I plan to make the most of them.
After a quick Google search of “which majors have the highest salary after college,” I am fully prepared to dive headfirst into my studies. But as we all know, no one has ever found success through their book learning alone. You need to possess corporate acumen. A college campus delivers all the prerequisites for the watercooler, cubicle and board room, if one looks hard enough. I need only be vigilant. I must keep my eyes peeled for opportunities to actually learn something useful at Yale.
The fake laughs that I throw at my professors will be some of my finest to date. The extra 15 minutes I spend practicing in front of a mirror when I wake up are sure to pay off. Boosting the egos of my well-connected educators will in turn land me coveted internships with their established friends and colleagues, for whom, I can assure you, my laughter will be flawless.
Because college serves as a hotbed for protests and debate, I will gain plenty of experience in pretending to have absolutely no opinion on any issue ever. Slavery? Never heard of it. Gender inequality? I don’t know what that is. Immigration? No comment. In the workplace, opinions are poison. They lead to conflict, which leads to resentment, which leads to a hostile work environment. Sure, the kids here can march and chant all they want, but they’re not the ones thinking about HR five years from now. Lord knows we don’t need another seminar in the conference room, am I right?
I will only decorate my dorm with three personal photos (as per cubicle etiquette). I’ll throw out the leftovers in the communal fridge that people didn’t have the good sense to get rid of before the first of the month. And you better believe I will refer to Thursday as “Friday junior.”
“I enter Yale a very layered person.” A direct quote from my
Pathetic. With luck, I will be able to peel back my final layer on graduation day to reveal only circuitry and wires. I will be a machine for my corporate overlords. I am fully prepared to obliterate all of the aspects that make me a unique individual, and I will gladly adopt the gray aura required of a corporate warrior. I excitedly await my grooming. The desire to be a dutiful employee performing a mundane job for decades drives me forward. It will most likely be the last desire that I ever possess, seeing as the “hopes and dreams” file in my brain must be eliminated if I have any plans of holding a job.
For me, Yale’s hallowed halls don’t hold a candle to the harsh fluorescent lighting that awaits me. I lie awake at night in anticipation of the fruits that will soon come my way: People I’ve worked with for years mispronouncing my name, endless memos, email chains, conference calls, quarterly reports, spreadsheets, presentations, enthusiastically responding “Too short!” whenever someone asks me how my weekend was … a cavalcade of tedious tasks that makes each day bleed into the last until I finally retire, earning a three-balloon party in the breakroom with a cake from a supermarket bakery. Pure, unadulterated bliss.
Yale is my mezzanine, and I intend to ascend to the plane of complete and utter numb indifference that I will, in time, come to regard as euphoria.
Simi Olurin is a first year in Pierson College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.