When someone goes through a stressful experience they usually require some time off to clear their head, regain focus, and recover from the pain and suffering. Of course, in white culture these experiences are most often defined as finishing high school, making it through three years of college, or working for eleven months straight with only two weeks vacation and every statutory holiday (“they don’t count because I had to spend them with family.”)
Though you might consider finishing school or having a good job to be “accomplishments” many white people view them as burdens. As such, they can only handle them for so long before they start talking about their need to “take a year off” to travel, volunteer, or work abroad.
It is most common for the person taking the year off to use this time to travel (see Post #19 for reasons why). Generally, they will start off with a set amount of money that will use to travel for as long as possible. This explains why a white person with an $800 backpack will haggle with a poverty-stricken street vendor about a $2 dollar plate of food.
If you work with this person, be sure to give them a FAKE email address on their last day on the job or you will be inundated with emails about spiritual enlightenment and how great the food is compared to similar restaurants back home. Also, within the first five days following departure, this person will come up with the idea to write a book about their travel experience. Sadly, more books about mid-twenties white people traveling have been written than have been read.
Some of the more enterprising white people will extend their time off by working abroad as a bartender, ski lift operator, or english teacher. Their stories, emails, and publishing plans will be identical to the previous white person but will include additional stories about working and complaints about “tourists.”
Finally, there is the white person who takes a year off to volunteer at home or abroad. Though they are equally likely to write long emails about their experience, these people are often using the experience as an excellent resume pad for their application to law school. This way they are able to put off real life without the crippling derailment of a career or education.
Regardless of how a white person chooses to spend their year off, they all share the same goal of becoming more interesting to other people. Sadly, the people who find these stories interesting are other white people who are politely listening until they can tell their own, more interesting story about taking a year off.
Thankfully, there is an enormous opportunity for personal gain. You see, whenever a white person takes a year off it opens up a valuable apartment, job opportunity or admissions slot. Consider it to be the most pretentious form of affirmative action.
photo by Alex Steffler
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