Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics

You double major in linguistics and pre-med..

For the next three years (including summers) you disappear into a black hole of fruit fly labs, phonetics labs, chemistry labs, language labs, etc., etc. You have no friends, you have no fun, you have no life. But in the end, it seems to have been worth it. You have one of the most unusual degree combinations imaginable, and you are ready to conquer the world.

While the pre-med biology major has been intellectually stimulating, it doesn’t compare to the thrill of linguistics. You apply to three good grad schools for linguistics, a safety grad school for linguistics, and on a whim (and to please your mother) you also apply to one quality medical school.

All four linguistics programs are impressed by your background and transcript. You fly out to interview at the first one, and they are blown away by your complete lack of personality. They turn icy and distant. The grad students collectively refuse to go to lunch with you. You leave, crushed, but still optimistic about your other options.

Word spreads, and all three of the other linguistics programs email you to cancel your interviews. “All grad student positions are filled for the upcoming year. And next year, too. And the year after that, now that we look at our paperwork. Don’t call us, we’ll... probably not call you, actually.”

Desperate, you interview at the one place that may still take you: medical school. Your interviewer is initially concerned that you may be “too flighty” and “not serious enough” for medical school, what with all this linguistics nonsense. But upon meeting you, she concludes that you do indeed have the soul-sucking, back-stabbing, goal-driven non-personality needed to succeed. You are in.

You suck souls. You stab backs. You drive toward your goals. 25 years later you are an MD, and you have your own pediatric podiatry practice in Manhattan, a big house in the Hamptons, a trendy apartment uptown, and more money than you know what to do with.