A note to the class of 2016
I'd be lying if I said I haven't daydreamed about one day being invited to give the commencement address at my alma mater, so thank you @k8zinker for requesting this list and indulging my delusion. It's most likely as close as I will get.
- •I have spent the majority of my adult life on this campus, first as a student and then, for the last 12 years, as an employee.
- •Any learning I can claim to have done during that time is encapsulated in the two best pieces of advice I have ever received.
- •The first was from my freshman-year theology professor, who told our class:
- •"Never assume you have a monopoly on the truth."
- •That's applicable whether you're talking religion, politics, or which Godfather was best.
- •Unless you say Godfather III. Then you're just wrong.
- •The second piece of advice came from a chemistry professor, whom I worked for eight years after I graduated. He told me:
- •"Don't let the perfect stand in the way of the good."
- •You'd be surprised at how often this happens, even with the world as fucked up as it is.
- •And yes, I just said "fuck" in a commencement speech.
- •That may be the best part about growing up: Life becomes infinitely more livable. You can be yourself.
- •Which brings me to my own piece of advice:
- •Don't let what you were here be the best four years of your life.
- •People who peak in high school or college make for really sad adults.
- •Thank you, and please remember to tip your waiters.
- •And by waiters, I mean me. Being a writer doesn't pay much.