My address to the graduating class of 2013

When you graduate from post secondary school it is natural to have a sense of a new beginning. Who knows what adventures await? Who knows where you will end up working? Who knows when you will pay off your student loan? Who knows when you will pull those unfortunate pictures off your Facebook timeline? Luckily I know all of these things. But unfortunately this is not one of those ‘you are the future and can create it in your own image’ speeches. This is the view of your future that will actually really happen.

Despite your wish or misguided misconception, work is not easier than school. That’s because you have to show up on time dressed in something other than your pyjamas. If you thought that essay deadlines were stressful, they have nothing on the world of bogus work emergencies that will have you eating cup-o-noodles at your desk at midnight. Because of this, most of you will decide to go back to school within the next five years. You will spend lots of money on things like executive MBAs, which will add nothing to your life but will add to the balance of your student loan. Also, the people you are hoping will hire you after having mastered the practical intricacies of things like search engine optimization or public private partnership dynamics have already been there and done that, and definitely do not want to give you the t-shirt.

A Princeton graduate of a certain age named Susan Patton got into huge trouble recently for publicly saying to female Princeton students that “for most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you”. She got into huge trouble because she was right. It is all downhill from here in the dating department. Unless of course you get a decent white collar job, although chances are that all of the desirable people at work in an appropriate demographic have already been snapped up by fellow alumni. Don’t worry though, you can catch them on the divorce rebound in about five years.

You will eventually get a job that is not crappy. More importantly, you will recognize in hindsight that a lot of the jobs you had that you thought were crappy were really pretty good. You will learn to recalibrate your crappiness scale, but in a good way.

You will never be skinnier than you are right now. There are a couple of lessons inherent in this reality. First, throw out your clothes once they stop fitting you. Even if you had a glimmer of a hope of squeezing into those jeans again they will be out of style by the time that ever happens. Second, don’t think that becoming vegan is the answer. Have you ever noticed the majority of vegan recipes consist of ways to create faux versions of the most empty calories available in a non-vegan diet? I rest my case.

In closing, I leave you with the (literally) immortal words of Yoda “If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are, a different game you should play”. And of course, make sure you wear sunscreen. You’re welcome.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *