Greetings to the Class of 2013! On behalf of the faculty here at the University of Big Expensive Buildings, I salute you. UBEB will miss your smiling faces and hefty tuition payments here on campus next year. Please come back for your Masters. Our motto: one degree is never enough. Let us finish clearing out those bank accounts once and for all. It’s our pleasure!
I was asked to deliver a few words of knowledge and advice to you graduates today. I can comply with at least some of that request, and deliver a few words to you. The knowledge and advice you’ll need to seek elsewhere.
Just kidding! I do have a few nuggets to impart, bite-sized bits of wisdom for your futures. Think of these as “commence-mints” that you can chew on and learn from. If nothing else, they will freshen your breath.
1) All you really need to know, you did NOT learn in kindergarten. Kindergarteners learn to weep and beg Mom to stay, push and poke their neighbors on the Circle Time rug, and make chocolate milk come out of Mary Smith’s nose. None of these behaviors will serve you well in the corporate world.
2) Practice patience. It is indeed a virtue. Remember, you are going out into a society full of crashing bores, many of whom will be your bosses. Do your yoga breathing and cool your jets. Look at ennui as a natural part of being an adult, and you’ll be much happier.
3) Clean your room once in a while. Dust that pizza box collection and take those empty beer cans off the windowsill. Since you will no doubt be back living at home for the foreseeable future, a modicum of orderliness will elevate the household mood considerably.
4) Reconsider that tattoo if it takes up more than 50% of your available skin surface. Unless you land a job in the arts, you may have to wear real people clothes to work. Nothing says “huh?” more than a medical student with “Live Fast, Die Young” peeking out from his lab coat.
5) You have inherited a real mess of a world from us—wars, hunger, climate change. Tidy it up! That should give you all something to do! You’re very welcome!
6) Remember to floss. Not sure why I said that because I always forget. But it seems like good advice, doesn’t it?
7) Think of your parents and teachers as the wind beneath your wings, when you step off the precipice of life and fly high! Oh, wait, humans don’t have wings. Never mind.
8) Whenever you get discouraged, remember this: Bill Gates never graduated from college. Neither did Steve Jobs. You DID. Feel better now?
Well, that’s all I got. Who were you expecting, Oprah? In a few minutes, you will cross this stage and receive your diplomas. It will be a magical moment, and the culmination of 16 years of education. Try not to trip.
Congratulations to the graduates!