June is the graduation time of year. I guess a hundred years ago those commencement speakers were inspiring and offered thoughts and insights that were new and fresh. But now, Jesus! Be your own person. Never give up. You have a responsibility to society. Success comes from within. Show courage. You can make a difference. Set aside time to smell the roses. Let faith be your guide. Blablablablabla.
I've never been asked to be a commencement speaker and that's probably a good thing because here's some of the advice I might give:
Live at home with your parents as long as you can. Otherwise you'll have to find a job. Rents are high. And then there's laundry, food, and the family big screen.
Know that the music you think is so cool now will be laughed at by future generations.
Same with clothes.
And don't follow your current favorite group around the country for the next thirty years. That becomes sad year one.
If you are going to honor your dear departed kitty Fluffy with a tattoo, make sure all your subsequent pets are also named Fluffy.
Eat bad foods. You're at an age when you can get away with it. And eat them at midnight. There's plenty of time in the future for watching your carbs, eating your vegetables, avoiding red meat, and laying off the Yodels and Ring Dings. Soon enough you won't be able to eat a bite after 8:00 without spending the night in the porcelain canyon. Do you want fries with that? Damn right you do!
Don't buy SUV's.
Practice safe and frequent sex. Have many romances and then fall in love when you're 30.
Go back and study the history of your chosen field. Things actually happened before 1990.
Don't blame your parents for everything. Your peers screwed you up just as much.
Sleep. It's better for you than Red Bull.
You can no longer take an "incomplete."
Prepare yourselves. There will come a day -- in your lifetime -- that they will stop making original episodes of The Simpsons. I know you don't believe me but it's true.
There's a special bond having shared the school experience together. Stay in touch with your classmates. Even the ones you've slept with.
Don't invest money in video stores.
Read novels that aren't graphic.
Join communities that aren't virtual.
Save your journal or private diary. In twenty years you're going to get such laughs.
Dream big but always have contingency plans. And then have contingency plans for your contingency plans.
Keep your student ID card. Use it to get into movies cheaper.
Guys, don't wear hats. You'll have plenty of time for that later once you've lost your hair.
Don't sweat it if you don't know what you're going to do with your life. There's a good chance the job you'll eventually want hasn't been invented yet.
Never take comedy traffic school.
Buy your alcoholic beverages by the glass or bottle, not the keg.
And finally -- Be careful when you say you want your generation to change the world. My generation said that and did - we made it worse.
Congratulations to the class of '08. Now get out there and don't fuck up my Social Security.
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com
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