This week, the distinguished faculty of Lists That Actually Matter offers their advice to the graduating class of 2012. Today, a few words from Tony, Professor of Whatever Subject Would Impress You Most.
Congratulations, you've made it. By which I mean, you've made it to this post. Way to go. I'm proud of you, and I don't understand why people are saying our expectations for this generation are dangerously low either.
You now enter the workforce. In theory. In actuality, if you're anything like the younger me, you now enter your parents' house and move back in to your old bedroom. The good news is, there's a Sega. The bad news is, your dad will likely be unimpressed by your ability to guess the actual retail price of a tin of Dinty Moore Beef Stew during daily viewings of The Price Is Right.
Which reminds me, be sure to thank your parents today. They sacrificed a lot to get you to this point, even if they didn't foot the bill. Paid for college yourself? In that case, what the hell are you doing reading this? You should really be working right now. It's not too late to head out to the parking lot and start selling bottled waters.
You've also made it to another place. Adulthood. Welcome. Turn down your music, please.
If we all look tired that's just because we are. There are a myriad of reasons—work, bills, mortgages, gambling debts, children, children's bills/mortgages/gambling debts—but the important thing to remember is, it'll happen to you. Don't fight it. It happens gradually, getting old.
It's not necessarily a bad thing. But as you can imagine, there are bad parts. If you weren't so busy romanticizing the last four+ years of your life right now, you'd remember that there were some bad parts to that, too. Remember the research paper that took you all night to complete? Remember that fight with your roommate? Remember that professor that just wouldn't cut you a break? Remember when you had to choose between food and laundry, and you chose Four Loko? (Probably not.)
So, about the future: forget about the future. It belongs to the robots and you will be but a laborer in their metal ore mines. The good news is, they'll likely forgive your student loan debt. It's cliche, but every day is going to present enough challenges to keep you occupied without any need to throw in concerns about events that may not present themselves for months, years, or ever. Your commencement speaker should actually be that guy who lived two doors down from you freshman year that sprayed Lysol on his clothing in lieu of showering. As you go forward, always remember what he used to say: I should've put on deodorant today. But also the other thing: Live in the now, man!
I think that's the best advice I can give you, and I'm barely even stoned. There are many more things you need to know, of course, but in the interest of time, I'll just give you a few quick hitters in bullet form. So, remember:
- Don't trust people that drive with their windows rolled down on the highway.
- Just because something is 10 for $10 at the grocery store doesn't mean you have to buy ten of the item in order to get it for $1 a piece. It's a trap!
- A little constructive criticism is a good thing. If you disagree, you have shit for brains.
- Church is a great place for people to meet so that they can then follow each other to somewhere more interesting.
- When you've run out of things to say on a date, try vigorous winking.
There are more, but those are some universally agreed upon essentials to hold you over for now and get you started on the right path. Congratulations on all you've accomplished. Now good luck getting someone outside of your family to care. You're a little fish now in what's going to feel like an uncomfortably large and polluted pond, but at least you have a basic understanding of how to swim. Just keep kicking. Oh, and also follow your dreams, love one another, keep learning, do service, blah, blah, blah, etc. The usual.
In closing, if you take only one thing from me today, let it be this: A tin of Dinty Moore Beef Stew retails for $1.09.
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