May is the time of year to look toward the future, enjoying Chicago’s one-day spring and then silently cursing when our friends begin posting their “done with finals” announcements. Once the midterms have finally passed and the existential despair has started to set in, Mother’s Day hangs on the horizon to add guilt to the pile of self-loathing that has accumulated so far this quarter. Amid the pestering for not calling and the nagging feeling that you probably could have called before the first Hallmark holiday, this time of year can be stressful—but there is a way to make the best of it.
Instead of jumping off a bridge, jump into a new line of work and announce to your parents not that you’re an abject failure but that you need to truly find yourself. Take the Mother’s Day call as an opportunity to look to the future rather than confronting the past six weeks of hating your seminar and drinking too much. Remember to keep a positive tone and look forwards; don’t mention that awkward encounter you had with Casey.
Here’s how the conversation should go: say hi, ask your parents how their boring lives are (you always knew they were boring, after all, and college just reinforces this), then dig right into the summer-and-beyond plans. Now, there’s a couple different ways to go with this, depending on whether or not you actually know what you’re doing for the gap year. Since this is just the latest in a series of impulsive decisions—though happily not involving waking up on top of Carlos this time—we’ll assume you haven’t. Put it on speaker phone, hop on the internet, and swap possibilities for as long as it takes until you find something tolerable, pretend it’s what you always wanted, and hope there’s enough money for to keep your crippling video game addiction solvent.
Or, worst case scenario, you get a job and try again next year.