This week's Ten on Tuesday
10 Things You Would Say If You Gave a Commencement Address
I have always wanted to give a commencement address, since I think that most of them are full of expectations and cliches, and even though mine might be as well, at least mine would be short. Let's face it, most of the students just want to walk across the stage and officially graduate, and most people in attendance want to see a particular person do just that. So in spite of the fact that many speakers seem to think a long rambling speech is called for, it is not. Even just "Congratulations" would do the trick, in my opinion. And since tomorrow will be the 37th anniversary (!) of my graduation from college, it seemed a good time to add my two cents.
Anyway, here are the Golden Nuggets of Wisdom that I would impart. ;-)
1. Good for you, you made it. Now don't waste it.
2. Remember, after your first job, no one will care where you went to school. I was asked about it at interviews for my first job because there wasn't a whole lot else to discuss. But I can't think of the last time someone mentioned it.
3. Related to that first job - don't expect it to be your dream job. It is your job to prove that you deserve employment.
4. Don't let anyone pressure you into a "5-year plan" personally or professionally. I can guarantee you that none of us can predict the next five years with any accuracy. When people ask me where I hope to be in the next five years, my answer is always "Still above ground."
5. Make peace with the fact that no matter how much it may dismay you now, you *will* in some ways become your parents.
6. Laugh daily.
7. Remember to say "I love you" on a regular basis.
8. Be kind to the world and people around you. Volunteer to help. Remember the saying: "If you want something done, ask a busy person. The other has no time."
9. Enjoy your life. You only get one, and a lot of times it will suck, so make the most of the good parts. Remember that the world owes you nothing, and you can choose how happy you will be, even when terrible things happen.
10. Remember that knowing how to think is more important than knowing everything.
I could add others, but like I said above, all commencement speeches should be short. So anything else would have to said the next time I was asked to speak somewhere ...