The Best Would-Be Commencement Address
As graduation time for many college seniors is looming in the distance, it’s important to remember the wise words of those that have gone before us. The most entertaining and witty of those was a 1997 column in the Chicago Tribune that was published as the author’s own version of a commencement address. It skips all of the b.s. of typical speeches and details why we should simply enjoy our lives right now! The column became famous and I always read it when I need a little boost. Just a little taste…
“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s…
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.”
Read the full column here