The University has prided itself since 1986 on its one-of-a-kind Take 5 program, which allows students to have a fifth tuition-free year as an undergraduate to focus on academic enrichment. Now, as a partner program, the University adds the Take 6 program. Unlike its predecessor, Take 6 helps students prepare for life after college by focusing on a specific field of study: how to move back in with your parents.
Due to the state of the job market, the cost of living, and ongoing difficulties from the
COVID-19 pandemic, the University was forced to acknowledge that the outlook for graduates is grim. Take 6 seeks to ameliorate this by familiarizing students with their greatest resource and
their greatest fear.
“The program really helped me learn that it’s okay to ask for help,” said a student, who
understandably wished to remain anonymous. “But I don’t think I could have moved back
without Take 6.”
Take 6, unlike Take 5, offers a small selection of specific classes. One highlight is
Difficult Conversations: They’re not mad, just disappointed. This course has different units
focusing on how to broach topics like income (or a lack thereof), “what you’ve been up to,” how to fake applying to grad school, and dealing with significant others who all of a sudden have real, adult lives.
“It’s a truly perplexing subject,” our student continues. “My parents keep asking me
about when I’ll get married and give them grandchildren, but whenever I have my girlfriend
over, she has to sleep on a futon in the basement. But now, thanks to Take 6, I’m trained to just lie and tell my mom that my girlfriend and I are ‘taking it slow.’”
Other courses focus on familiarizing yourself with the unemployment benefits system,
weaning yourself off of frat party binge drinking, recovery from cheek pinches and hair tousling, the crushing disappointment of being rejected from every possible job and graduate program,
returning to your pets, and coping with nagging.
Take 6 culminates in the course Big Things Are Coming: Moving Out Again. While the course delves into getting a new job and apartment, sizeable time in the semester is spent on dealing with the “I just can’t stand them anymore” phenomenon.
Take 6 knows that not every student has parents to move back in with, and a final feature of the program solves this. Akin to the medical school residency match system, Take 6 pairs
students in need of too-kind parents with acceptable substitutes: middle aged empty-nesters that miss their successful children who went off to take big jobs in the city. Sure, you’re not their kid, but they’ll dote on you all the same. Take 6 students who elect for this matching program pick a home to move into by selecting certain features ranging from parental (book club with mom, or fishing trips with dad and his friend Dale) to structural (old wooden paneling from the ’70s, a bedroom door that won’t lock) to comfort (mom still cuts the crusts off your sandwiches, a tiny dog that will bark at literally anything that passes the house). Admission to the match program, or even your own childhood home, is contingent on one’s inability to secure steady employment.
“Immediately moving into the bigger world of working adults just isn’t in the cards for some of us,” University President Sarah Mangelsdorf said. “It is for most of us. But not all.”
Quoting the tagline of the program, she elaborated that “the Take 6 program isn’t meant for
failures. No graduate should think of themselves like that. This program is for getting back on
your feet. Or for getting on your feet at all.”
Cost is always a major question when new programs are announced, but readers and
applicants will be thrilled to learn that the program is tuition free. However, due to not fitting the legal definition of “education,” program attendees will not be able to defer their student loan
payments. While Take 5 preserves work study offerings, Take 6 does not. Cooperative and
preprofessional offerings, according to the program, “defeat the purpose of moving back in with your folks.” That said, Take 6 does offer the promise of ungainful employment cutting siding
panels and making birdhouses in your dad’s garage-turned-workshop.
Applications are now open for the Take 6 program, for those who regrettably need it.