Across America, college students have begun taking 5th years in order to get the full experience promised by their university. Some study abroad, others get attached to their extracurricular activities. Sally Merona, a 3rd year UCSB Marine Biology student, has decided she will be postponing her graduation so that she will be able to attend the Goleta Target opening during her 5th year.
Sally isn’t alone. Hundreds of college students have begun joining this band wagon that encourages fellow students not to miss out on the amazing experience that is a 5th or even a 6th year of undergraduate experience. Before telling her parents about the extreme financial burden she was about to impose upon them, Sally spent weeks reading the testimonials of others who had done the same thing as her.
In 2011, Michelle O’Hara, a UCSB sociology graduate who took her 5th year in order to attend the State Street H&M, said that, “Well, in the beginning I was super nervous about taking my 5th year for H&M. I mean I have always been a huge control freak and the idea of failing a couple of classes just so I could explore cheap leggings seemed to be really unlike me. However, I think it really shows what a major role going to H&M played in getting out of my comfort zone. I mean it just takes you so far out of your element that it forces you to learn and experience in a new way. It’s magical really. Experiencing other stores just broadens your knowledge base so much. All I can say is that telling students to wait an extra year for that great new store is an easy way to set this generation up to be more globally-minded and cultured than ever before”.
Needless to say, Sally was convinced by Michelle’s testimonials, among others. “I just really feel ill about spending the rest of my life regretting not waiting for that Target,” said Sally. “I mean to come so close and to just leave… it seems so wrong.”
In preparation for the new Target, the cultural sciences have debated adding a course that would treat the country’s second largest discount retailer as a text to be deconstructed. Professor Mossimo, a proponent of such a course, appeared before the culture sciences committee to discuss his new lesson plans, which covers both the proper pronunciation of Target and the native “Tarjay”. However, according to Mossimo, it seems that the class ‘TAR 1” might not be offered until Fall 2016, meaning that students like Sally might have to attend Target without really understanding its significance or pronouncing it correctly. Luckily for Sally, that doesn’t seem to be an issue.
“I think it’s best that I just completely immerse myself in the culture and learn through experience,” she said. “After all, that’s what my parents did when the first Big Lots opened near their school.”