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OP-ED: No, Sir, I Took Five Gap Years, And That's Why My ID Says I'm 26


Photo by Drew Stephens / CC0

Hey, Mr. Bouncer, my man! How’s your night going so far? Mine’s pretty great. I actually came here from another bar with my other 21+ friends you see around me. Oh, you want to see my ID? The second piece of legal identification I obtained, the first one being my birth certificate? For sure!

Excuse me? You think this isn’t real? No worries, I can give you my PennCard, which also has my name and photo on it! Here you go... Oh, how am I a sophomore? I'm not lying to you. No sir, I took five gap years, and that’s why my ID says I’m 26.

How did I spend these years, you ask? I was actually working at a startup, backpacking the entirety of South America, and founding a nonprofit. The name of the nonprofit? Right, it’s, uh, “Change the World.” Our mission is... Um... Ensuring a high quality of life for all people, more specifically those inhabiting the land around us, regardless of... their peanut butter preferences— crunchy, smooth, or none at all. We don’t discriminate! We also work towards the bettering of lots of different communities.

Let me tell ya, it’s pretty strange being a 26-year-old in the sophomore class! I even gave the “birds and the bees” talk to my roommate last year. Ah, sometimes, I wish it were the 90s again, you know? There are so many things I remember that my peers don’t!

Anyway, may I please enter the bar? I’m getting pretty thirsty. Oh, shit... You’re right, my ID doesn’t scan. Have a nice night, sir.