As I look out at this massive crowd I see the tops of mortarboards.
Put the phones away, kids.
I cannot help but look at this sea of fresh faces and think of the soul-crushing pile of student debt you are about to collectively accumulate. I mean huge. I mean so big you should probably start shopping around for a funeral home now while your credit is still good.
The good news is that somewhere in this throng of wide-eyed terror lurks a few future white collar criminals. My advice is to make friends with those guys (or gals…it’s an equal opportunity world). You’ll get a better interest rate from those loan sharks than you ever would from a bank.
If you are one of those future white collar criminals, my advice is don’t get caught. If you do get caught, don’t drop the soap. I wouldn’t worry about that too much though. You can always follow the career model of the poster boy for white collar crime, Enron’s Kenneth Lay, who had the good sense to die before he could get raped in prison by a hairy behemoth the other cons call Twinkie.
To the kids who almost had a perfect GPA for their high school careers, except for that one “B” you got this semester in music appreciation, you got what you deserved. You probably would have received an “A” if you hadn’t asked – five times per class – “is this going to be on the exam?” In case you were wondering if your parents are secretly disappointed that you didn’t make a perfect 4.0, they are. Don’t worry, though. That disappointment is nothing compared to when you tell them you’re changing your major from accounting to Sanskrit. Keep your chin up.
To the overachievers I say: yes, it’s true. Your friends have been making fun of your anal retentive obsession with grades and accolades this entire time. Before you make that same mistake in college, here’s a little joke for you. What do you call the person who finishes last in their class at medical school? Doctor! So if you’re a dude, go on panty raids. If you’re a chick, go kidnap a fraternity pledge.
By the way, that actually happened to me in college. I got dragged off the street by a carload of sorority girls, and it’s every bit as fun as it sounds.
But I digress…
My point is this: you should have gone toilet papering a little more (or at all).
For the “C” students, take heart. It is possible to become gainfully employed. If you have enough personality and know how to bullshit, you can one day supervise a straight “A” student. And won’t that be fun? Please, though, for the love of whatever it is you believe in, let’s make a pact right here and now that you “C” students will never, EVER accept a nomination by your party to be President of the United States. You’d be like the toddler going on the grocery shopping trip with his mom. She only had a list of things she needed, but she ended up spending more money because of the stuff you broke, and the lives you ruined, and the international reputation you took a dump on.
In closing – because like most of you writing your own essays, I’m too lazy to think up a more thoughtful transition to the concluding paragraph, so I’m just taking the obvious route – I’d like to point out that there are some very serious high school graduation speeches being given today by extraordinarily well-credentialed and distinguished speakers. If just one person in any of those audiences, listening to those sage words, was so moved as to decide, right then and there, that they were going to turn from their slacker ways and lives of mediocrity, I would be utterly shocked.
Thank you and God help us.