Commencement Address, 2021

Those of you who have been on the site for some time know that I occasionally like to write a commencement address for the benefit of graduating seniors. Since nobody has ever actually asked me to do this, I figure I’ll just post it here. Make sure to tell the graduate in your life about this.

Dear Class of 2021:

I am proud of all of you. Despite all of the hardships that you’ve endured in the past year, you’ve made it to your graduation. From COVID-19 to Karen to having to sit in your house and play video games instead of waking up early to go to school, your struggle has been great.

In order that you might start the rest of your life off properly, I’d like to share with you some of the nuggets of wisdom I’ve collected in my nearly 50 years of life. I’ll assume your teachers would have told you this stuff if you’d been in school, but since you weren’t, the task falls to me. This is good stuff, so pay careful attention.

Advice that will make your life happier, healthier, and generally more awesome:

If you ever find yourself asking if you need to pee, the answer is yes. This becomes more important the older you get.

Whenever you hire somebody to work on your home, make sure that the workers’ truck has a lot of ladders on it. The very best home improvement people have separate ladders for all occasions – benefit from their laddering experience!

If you want a watch that keeps good time, get a quartz watch and not an automatic. Yes, I know that a Rolex costs $10K and a Casio costs $10, but the Casio really and truly keeps better time. It doesn’t do much for your social standing, though.

When you finally meet that certain somebody you want to spend your life with, have them check your work on everything you do. They should check measurements when you measure things, airline reservations before you hit “enter”, and social plans to make sure you’ll be in the right place at the right time. This won’t make the measurements any better, mind you, but at least you’ll share the blame with somebody else.

No matter how fascinating you find them, nobody wants to see your origami or card tricks. However, I’ve learned that if you do the pulling your thumb trick in a crowded elevator, at least one person will laugh.

Whenever anybody tells you that there are two types of people in the world, try not to be either of them.

Everybody says they care about the environment, but when you want to talk about the time you switched to LED bulbs nobody wants to hear it.

When you try anything worthwhile in life, remember that there will always be somebody there better than you. However, there will also be a ton of people way worse than you, so don’t worry about it.

I hate to break the news to you, but your mom is not a good judge of who the handsomest boy or prettiest girl in the world is. If you want an honest opinion of how you look, Google search a picture of your face and see what types of people it thinks you look like.

Don’t actually do the last trick. It will destroy your self confidence forever.

Graduates, I hope this information will make your life better. If not, contact me and I’ll return my commencement address speaking fee.

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