What is… my paycheck?

Off the Beat

Answer: Hit the bull’s-eye and name this discount retail store first opened by the Dayton Company in 1962.

What is Target?

Answer: This singer renamed herself “Sasha Fierce” for a 2008 double album.

Who is Beyonce?

And just like that, I’ve pushed through the Jeopardy! practice test, having completed my registration for the online test, the first step in an arduous attempt to land a spot on the show.

True, I’ve always been a huge fan of Jeopardy!, and yes, my brain has a large storage section for completely useless information — did you know that Orlando Bloom was born on Friday the 13th? But this year, as I prepare myself for the audition process, a deeper longing to not just appear on Trebek’s treacherous turf but also win the damn thing has manifested itself in the form of memorizing even larger quantities of pointless trivia and numerous temptations to purchase Adderall.

The odds of me making it onto any game show, much less the most-watched and well-respected one in America, are slim to none, but you can’t hurt a girl for trying, right?

Although I, and I’m sure anyone, would absolutely love to appear on television screens across the country demolishing opponents and exhibiting superior intelligence, perhaps this is simply my passive-aggressive way of dealing with increasing tuitions, taxes and demands for impressive listings on one’s resume.

You see, I’ve searched long and hard across the barren landscape of the Interwebs, and after casting a wide net, I’ve come to the conclusion, as I’m sure many of you have, that it sucks balls to be a college student looking to make a buck or two.

My search for summer internships, which began nearly a month ago, has been, to say the least, fruitless. Unless you’re an engineer or a business major or intend to work at a well-funded private school, finding valuable, paid positions is like trying to come away from Pepe’s Pizza without having to spend the next few hours in the bathroom.

It’s fucking hard.

And when you do finally come across something that offers a measly stipend, you can bet your yellow and blue ass that the competition will be fierce and unforgiving.

At this point, my 5-year-old irritated kid voice kicks in and I turn to my roommate, whining, “Is this even legal?” We suffering undergraduates, already overloaded with the burdens of long-lasting student loans and oceans of debt, are being forced to work what are essentially full-time jobs for absolutely nothing.

“This internship offers a rich and rewarding experience” — yes, yes I know, but you really expect me to move to New York AND pay rent AND work 40 hours a week for no pay?

I recently went through 45 different listings for publishing house internships, and all of them seemed to have a recurring theme: unpaid. Unpaid. Unpaid. One of them, situated in London, had the four beautiful letters P-A-I-D in the job description, and I nearly wet myself with excitement. And then I realized that it was only talking about travel expenses. Subsequent tears ensued.

I mean people, do I look like Kim Kardashian? (If you don’t know who she is, the answer would be a resounding NO. And yes, I’d put that in capital letters). Then no, I cannot afford to be someone’s bitch for three months just to add a section to the “work experience” portion of my resume. As much as I would love to be fetching people’s coffees and walking their dogs for them, I refuse to turn my life into a version of “The Devil Wears Prada.” And come to think of it, even she had a salary that she could live on.

Perhaps this is simply the plight of the sad, sad English major, but whatever it is, it’s certainly disheartening.

Hence, I’ve turned my attention to Jeopardy! In the unlikely instance that I do end up staring at those blue clue squares as a competitor, I know that the compensation money that I come away with, even if I lose, will be more than I can come up with in an entire summer’s worth of work.

I know, the logic is patchy, and the likelihood of meeting Alex face-to-face is about as big as the probability that the world will end this year, but in the midst of my application frenzy, I’ve got to do something other than fill out my profile information for the 99th time. Chocolate can only hold out for so long.

So here I am, reading about the fact that broccoli is officially classified as a type of cabbage and that Napoleon Bonaparte loved to ice skate.

Wish me luck.