Requested by Kate

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.
  1. 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.
  2. Any learning I can claim to have done during that time is encapsulated in the two best pieces of advice I have ever received.
  3. The first was from my freshman-year theology professor, who told our class:
  4. "Never assume you have a monopoly on the truth."
  5. That's applicable whether you're talking religion, politics, or which Godfather was best.
  6. Unless you say Godfather III. Then you're just wrong.
  7. The second piece of advice came from a chemistry professor, whom I worked for eight years after I graduated. He told me:
  8. "Don't let the perfect stand in the way of the good."
  9. You'd be surprised at how often this happens, even with the world as fucked up as it is.
  10. And yes, I just said "fuck" in a commencement speech.
  11. That may be the best part about growing up: Life becomes infinitely more livable. You can be yourself.
  12. Which brings me to my own piece of advice:
  13. Don't let what you were here be the best four years of your life.
  14. People who peak in high school or college make for really sad adults.
  15. Thank you, and please remember to tip your waiters.
  16. And by waiters, I mean me. Being a writer doesn't pay much.