Yes, I did kill my GPA freshman and sophomore year. Yes, I did get a bad stomach disability, resulting to an intense surgery. And yes, I have done things I deeply regret. But there are positives as these years went on.
Take a quick scan of education in America, and it appears that college graduation speeches are just about the only place it's safe to talk about failure without it sounding terminal.
No one says you should be able to take the long view at age 21, but you should appreciate the fact that countless people have come before you, often struggled more than you have and endured and even flourished, emerging much stronger for the experience.
Some of the best advice my dad ever gave me was, "Be kind to your children, because some day they will be bigger than you." He explained that they would do things I had never done and things that I could never imagine for them.
When your back is against the wall and you're bloodied and bruised, are you going to give up or fight your way out? The only way out is through, and to make it, you are going to need something more than physical strength.
While it would probably be enough to just say "good luck" and "I love you," that's not all there is to say. Not by a long shot.
Fitted sheets are the worst. There are people who can fold fitted sheets into perfect squares. Those people dabble in black arts. Stay away from them.
You might have taken Psych 101 but chances are you never took a class on how to get a job or what to do when you scored your dream gig.
Believe it or not, most commencement speakers won't tell you how to make long-term monogamy work, or what the etiquette is for post-college booty calling. So while we are decidedly below D-list status, we would like to share our advice for heading out into the big, bad, real world.
No matter what your circumstances in life -- where you live, the family you were born into, what happened to you as a young child that was beyond your control -- NOW is the time to step forward into your own true self and begin the chapter of life that is truly yours for the making.
I'm sad that my children's time with you is drawing to a close. Not just their time in this grade, with these friends. Their time with you. Their teacher.
Tomorrow you will graduate from elementary school. Tomorrow we will all sit in little folding chairs in the cafeteria, watching proudly as you and your classmates line up and walk onto the stage to receive your diplomas.
It's that time of year again. Its time for graduations and the ceremonies of our lives. It is time for us to graduate from the selfish notion that we have made it on our own or from the notion that we owe whatever success we may have achieved to our own ingenuity and intelligence.
I spend a lot of time teaching students about online safety, reputation management, cyberbullying, privacy and all that a jazz. Of course I hope that when they graduate they will remember every lesson, but frankly, I'd be satisfied if they remembered just the last one.
Let us celebrate this monumental feat of humanity. And let us consider how you, the lucky beneficiaries of this march of progress, can thrive in this new world.
It's graduation season, and time for speeches. I'll leave it to actual accomplished people to say something inspirational and lofty. High school grads, I'm here to keep it real and give you more pragmatic advice. Here are the ten things I wish I'd known when I was heading off to college.