Joel Barnes, a Crossmen mellophone player and a math major at Yale University, will be contributing a weekly column to Here's his third installment. It's not just a TV show, guys. For all you high school and college kids out there, this may come as a huge shock, but sooner or later, it's up to you to do stuff like buy eggs, pay the bills, complain about kids and their loud music, and (OK, deep breath, Joel) get a job.

Joel Barnes
I've known it's been coming for a long time, but I just didn't want to face it. Unfortunately my senior year is here and I have to face the facts: I actually not only have to figure out what I want to do next year, but do all kinds of stuff to make it happen. One of my blessings and curses in life is that I've always been a pretty stress-free guy. This pays huge dividends in drum corps, as I've managed to complete three seasons with only one total freak-out (that was a bad day). It works pretty well for school most of the time, too: Yale is a pretty high-stress place sometimes, but I've never really found a reason to lose it, even with five tests coming around the bend and no time to study. Unfortunately the no-stress thing comes back to bite me in the behind sometimes. It's always easy for me to put something off to the next day, and not worry about it. I've taken naps in the middle of all-nighters because I figured I still had all morning to finish the job. And here I find myself, three weeks into my senior year, in the following predicament: I've never written a resume. I've never been to career services. I'm a math major, but instead of doing math programs or internships in the summer, I did drum corps. Why? Well, I think I've answered that question partly in my last two articles, but then again, it was simply because drum corps is what I wanted to do, and I definitely didn't want to worry about my career or anything like that. I mean, I'm happy with the way I've lived my life over the past three years, but since I'm living in a world (i.e. with my fellow Yale seniors) where everyone seems to not only have a plan, but has written it down and done three applications already. I think it's time I got on a different horse. So here's what I'm gonna do: Tomorrow I'm going to call undergraduate career services and set up an appointment. I'm going to write a draft of a resume, and do research on different careers. I'm going to meet with professors about going to grad school. It's going to be exciting. And the best part is, I finally get to learn what all this drum corps is going to do for me in life. You better believe that all the leadership experience and hard work from the past three summers is going to play a huge role in the Joel Barnes that gets presented to wherever it is I'm going to apply. And don't worry, I'll let you guys know how it all goes. OK, time to go do the dishes, like a real grown-up.
Joel Barnes has completed three seasons with the Crossmen, where he served as mellophone section leader and soloist for the 2005 season. He is 21 years old (DCI class of '06), and in the off-season he keeps busy by attending Yale University, from which he intends to receive a bachelors degree in mathematics this coming June. Joel keeps his legs and chops in shape by playing on the Yale Ultimate Frisbee team, and with the Yale Precision Marching Band, respectively. Feel free to E-mail him at with questions regarding the Crossmen, drum corps in general, or your math homework.