I've always found that the best advice is unsolicited. So since no one asked me to speak at any commencement exercises this spring, I'll go ahead and use this space to give my remarks to the class of 2011. So, graduates, straighten your mortarboard and honor cords and settle in, because here we go:

Class of 2011, alumni, special guests, faculty and staff, friends and family - thank you so much for being here today.

I'll start out by telling you that "I'll keep this short." We will both know that this is a lie, but I feel it's important that I self-deprecatingly acknowledge you don't have any interest in hearing what I have to say.

So, graduates, today is your day. Enjoy it. But let's take a moment to remember those who helped you get here. Can we get a round of applause for your parents?

And one for the great faculty and staff here - many of whom brought a book to read during this great moment of yours because of its mind-numbing tediousness - for everything they've done?

And finally, because I'm killing time with all this audience participation, a round of applause for yourselves. After all, it took great courage to put off all those research papers until the night before they were due. You've earned it.

So now that the drivel is out of the way, let's get to this, eh?

As you prepare to set out on this next stage of life, remember that this is not an ending, but a beginning. Remember that you have to take it one game at a time. You need to follow your passion, blaze your own path and stick to the game plan. You need to give 110 percent and remember that the ball is in your court. Also, the world is your oyster, so hopefully you like seafood.

You've got to pay your dues and remember to do what you love. You've stopped listening to me at this point, so I'm just going to mention that Mary had a little lamb. You'll live and learn - and then you'll get Luvs. Spread your wings and fly. Defense wins championships. Oh, and be a team player.

As I gaze out over your faces, I can't help but think that some of you will go onto great things. But, there's also a good chance that some of you are eventually going to be incarcerated for a felony, perhaps - and I'm looking at you, business majors - a white collar crime. Most of you, mathematics tell me, will be pretty much average.

Speaking of math, odds are you won't remember this speech - or me. But you'll remember you spent the entirety of my speech texting your friend about how my academic regalia makes me look like a particularly bad Harry Potter impersonator. Or, perhaps you'll recall how you were Tweeting some oh-so-clever comments about commencement and that, because you're very hip, you ironically hash-tagged Vitamin C. Savor the moment.

And as you prepare to enter the real word, remember to be true to yourself. Not because you're all that great, but because I know you'll love this line, as it makes you feel special. So I included it instead of telling you to that you should spend your entire life trying to be a better person than you are today - that you should be striving feverishly to be the kind of person you were created to be. But nobody wants to hear that today; you want your victory lap. And I'm here to please.

And so, to take this inane trope one step further, remember that You Are The Future. Please do not pay any attention to the nervous squirms from the faculty seating area at this thought. After all, they're just jealous because you and your girlfriend are totally going to backpack across Europe this summer and they're not. Totally.

Oh right, I almost forgot - remember that Webster's dictionary defines "Graduation" as "an act of graduating," so, you know, there's that.

You've worked hard to get here today - and I'm referring, of course, to those of you who have put a lot of effort into cheating or coming up with creative excuses as to why your papers are late. You will be well prepared for a job because of it.

Those of you who actually worked hard, who studied for the test and did most of the work in those group projects? Sorry, but it ain't getting any better once you leave here.

And finally, graduates, remember, the future is in your hands - don't worry, parents, I'm referring to their cell phones.

Congratulations, graduates, and good luck!

If you'd like to book him for a 2012 commencement address, Brandon Szuminsky can be reached at bszuminsky@heraldstandard.com.

 

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