The Wide Angle: Graduates, you’ll want to hear this

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Well, once again it’s that time of year where somebody at every graduation everywhere will utter some semblance of the phrase, “Class of 2024 … we made it.”

It’s a line that if not carrying the same significance of “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” has the same passion as seniors all over our area and the state casts their eyes to the future and thinks, “this isn’t fair. I have to start something all over again!”

Sadly, it’s just another year of disappointment for me as not one school has asked me to deliver a graduation speech and I don’t know why, though I have theories, most notably that far too many people know me and don’t trust me to not say something stupid or at worst incriminating.

Email newsletter signup

More than a few administrators would look upon my undoubtedly deep pieces of advice as something of a threat. In fact, I suspect at the end they might exclaim, “We made it!”

Still, I’ve been around the block a few times and if you all won’t let me get up in front of hundreds of graduates, friends and family then I’ll just espouse my advice in this column, knowing full well there probably isn’t anybody under the age of 20 reading my column.

Let’s start with an easy one: You’ve only just arrived. Yes dear graduate, you’ve come to the end of 18 years worth of education, but many of you have two, four or several more years to wonder how much more money you’ll have to spend.

It’s a whole new educational experience that will require you to work and study at the same time while trying to find a little bit of time to have fun and enjoy your college years. It’s best you are prepared for this moment, because college is a headache a lot of the time, but the experiences should be cherished. Enjoy them and remember, you’ll probably have to say “well, we made it” one more time with a lot more exhaustion.

But it’s worth it.

Now we get into the life experiences that maybe you won’t think about too often.

• Journey was absolutely right. Some day, love will find you.

• Talking in the supermarket. Don’t do it. Wave, say “hi,” ask how they are doing and move on and if you absolutely must talk in the supermarket pick some place where people don’t go as often: like organic foods.

• Red Vines over Twizzlers. No, you are absolutely wrong. Red Vines … over … Twizzlers.

• Nobody really cares if you wear socks with Crocks.

• Regardless of what a certain Pacelli teacher argues, hot dishes and casseroles are too similar in nature to be different things. Yes, Nick. I went there. Do kids say that anymore?

• Okay boys, you have graduated now. Either grow your hair long correctly as if you’re auditioning to be the new Guns n’ Roses lead singer or get rid of the mullet. As a man who grew up in the 80s and early part of the 90s let me advise you that you will regret the mullet decision for years.

• Ladies, do your part and ensure mullets are vanquished once again.

• Enjoy the little things in life. A walk on a summer’s day, the smell of lilacs and peanut butter sandwiches. Don’t stress about the bigger things in life quite yet, like those times you’ll have to get your roof redone and begin questioning how in the … You know what, let’s just enjoy the little things in life.

Stupid roof.

• Don’t ever let your best friend be a maid of honor or best man. They know things. They … know … things.

But aside from these completely random  and probably useless pieces of advice let the modern day prophet Jon Bon Jovi guide you with these words for the future:

“It’s my life

It’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive

It’s my life

My heart is like the open highway

Like Frankie said, ‘I did it my way’

I just want to live while I’m alive

It’s my life

See what you miss when you don’t invite me to give a graduation speech? Now if you have a moment let me tell you about the time my buddy got the bright idea to 

Whoops, guess I’m out of space.