Now usually I don’t do this, but, uh, but go ahead and break ’em off with a little message for the graduating class of 2012.
Congratulations, you’ve come to the end of the road. In one week some of you will move back in with parents that drive you crazy. Others will go to some different campus for grad school, law school or med school, and some of you will sign leases for shithole apartments. You won’t be able to afford a repairman-man-man-man and you’ll have practically no room for activities. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Right now, you’re probably barely breathing and thinking, “I’m freakin’ out, man.” You are freaking out … man.
Maybe you feel like you’re drowning slowly, off the coast and you’re headed nowhere. A lot of you may feel like you’re can’t-hack-it-pantywaists who wear their mamas’ bras. You might be concerned that no one will like you when you’re 23. It’s possible you’re just worried that you’ll end up crying all alone on the bedroom floor ‘cause you’re hungry.
These are reasonable concerns, because that father of yours may not be there to buy you a new life. Chances are that you don’t have a wealthy uncle willing to put you up in his Bel Air pool house, and it’s even less likely that you’ll get hit by a car in the parking lot and be handed a blank check (so you can forget about installing a slide that leads from your bedroom to the pool).
Regardless of your plans, you’re teetering on the brink of a whole new world and you’ve got to move, bitch. But, it’s not so bad. Just think—four years ago you were still in high school. Maybe you were working your ass off to be QB1 or falling in love while trying to win a bet or trying not to get caught motosurfing. Maybe you spent your summers as a counselor at Camp Nowhere or Camp Anawana, or hanging out with your sister. Or maybe you were a 10-year-old whiz-kid who wasn’t at all ready to navigate that type of social environment. It’s possible you were busy trying to figure out how to stand up for yourself and come out to your father.
No matter the case, it didn’t take long for you to realize that you loved college. The transition was so smooth. Essentially, you left that embarrassing nickname behind, took it step-by-step, and stopped fucking freshly baked desserts. You showed up at campus a teenage dirtbag with so much to say. You drank some whiskey drink, drank some vodka drink, threw back a bottle of beer, had some shots, shots, shots-shots-shots-shots, shots and went streaking through the quad and into the gymnasium.
The next four or five (or seven) years were lengen—wait for it—dary. You put on that dress, so scandalous, or those apple-bottom jeans and those boots with the fur or those Air Force ones. You spent Monday-Wednesday looking forward to the weekend, weekend. You wild and crazy kids dropped it like it was hot, shook it like a Polaroid picture, got your eagle on, pop-lock-and-dropped it, leaned back, supermanned, dougied, shook ya tailfeathers, 1-2 stepped, got low, got ur freak on, backed those azzes up, got jiggy wit it and partied in the U.S.A., all in an effort to bring sexyback.
You put on the freshman 15, so sophomore year you stopped eating foods shaped like dicks and lunches were canceled due to a lack of hustle. Some of the girls kissed a girl and they liked it (not that there’s anything wrong with that). You used to hate school so you had to play hooky. At one point you got naked and started the revolution. On the few Sunday mornings that weren’t spent with an awkward stranger, you made banana pancakes with the three best friends that anyone could have. It might have felt like you were literally attached to them. They were close to you (they’re like your brothers) and, as far as you can see, it don’t get better than this. So, now you feel like you’re losing your best friends—you can’t believe this could be the end.
You might feel like you just can’t turn and walk away. I know it ain’t easy to say goodbye. But, your friends are always one call away and campus ain’t go-in’-no-where. So, sit back and have a toast to all those who knew you all too well. In a couple of weeks, or a month, or a year or so you’ll go back to visit and be amazed by how much will have changed since u been gone. I know that seems like a frightening prospect because you don’t want to miss a thing, but I’m telling you there’s a chance that, if you’ve made it this far, you won’t mind because you’ll find a way to storm into the real world like your name is El Niño and make it to infinity and beyond. You’re ready to lead a successful and modern life.
You’ll go on job interviews—probably lots of them. Maybe your knees will be weak and your palms will be sweaty. Maybe you’ll just wish that you weren’t wearing that fucking shirt. Either way, chill the hell out. It’s just a job interview. This is America, where people can build empires by hitting each other in the nuts and riding their bikes into creeks or making sex tapes with marginally relevant, talentless rappers. You’ll figure it out. Though, you should keep in mind that it’s 2012—your prospective employers are probably up on the Internets, so they saw those pictures from Pedro O’Horny’s and they know what you did last summer.
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have this summer off. If so, cherish it because you’ve got to get your groove on before you go get paid.
1. Go on a safari.
2. Crash a wedding.
4. Repeat steps 1-3.
Spend the time you have off to better yourself intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Double dare yourself to accept a physical challenge and get on Kanye’s new workout plan (Tuesday’s arms and back). But, remember that there’s more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good-looking.
A lot of you probably don’t have the luxury of the summer off, though. Maybe you’ll land a part-time gig waiting tables at the Honker Burger or as a short-order cook at The Max. Maybe you’ll join a babysitting club while people ask, “why don’t you get a job?” A lot of you will jump around from gig to gig. Maybe you want to take an idea and run it up the flagpole to see who salutes, so you’ll start your own business. It’s possible you’ll work day ‘n’ night and have a boss that, yeah, is going to have to ask you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have some options and you’ll feel torn, but it’s entirely possible that you won’t know what you’re living for.
No matter your plans, remember that it’s unbelievable how prepared you are for this.
By now you know that you know to take responsibility for your actions. You know that when shit goes awry, you can’t just lay a newspaper over it. You know that life isn’t about how many pieces of the Aggro Crag you’ve got on your mantel. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, being there for your friends when the rain starts to pour, and making sure that you don’t miss a million miles of fun. Remember that when you get old and start losing your hair, no one will still care that you were promoted to be assistant to the regional manager.
Life’s about loving, being loved, and doing the things young people in love do.
Guys: At some point, you graduated from the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club, stopped having liquid dreams, and forgot about your crush on Stacy’s mom. And then, there was Angela, Pamela, Sandra and Rita. And then there was likely an instance when the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do was tell a girl that you just couldn’t finish what you started. And then, at some point, you probably hung out the passenger’s side of your best friend’s ride (at least metaphorically) to tell a girl that God must have spent a little more time on her. And then there was probably a time when you did it all for the nookie. And then you started looking for a lady in the street, but a freak in the bed. OK, no more and then.
Girls: For a while your body was saying let’s go, but your heart was saying no. When you first got to school there was probably a time when you were craving for a guy—missing him like candy. Then, you realized that a lot of guys liked the way you walked, the way you moved, the way you talked. Your milkshake brought all the boys to the yard. You became a heartbreaker and, man, you felt like a woman. There was that one time when you were careless with a delicate man and at least one instance when you had to dust yourself off and try again. Through it all, you blossomed into an independent woman of the 21st century (zoom, zoom, zoom).
By now you oughta know that Joey Gladstone may cheat on you, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, you may end up dating the Green Lantern (and his abs) for four years. So, believe in a thing called love, know that you’ll always have Breakfast at Tiffany’s, don’t look back in anger, just keep swimming, and remember that your heart will go on.
If you don’t know by now, the world is full of wannabes, wankstas and cake-eaters. Players gon’ play. They see you ridin’, they hatin’. You shouldn’t worry about the real monsters and Pit Stains of the world. Don’t feed the trolls.
And don’t neglect traditions, and I’m not just talking about stealing someone’s mascot. This may be the first year that you won’t be home for Christmas. You might show yourself the meaning of being lonely, but that doesn’t mean that the holidays are any less important. Send your mother flowers on Mother’s Day, don’t settle for Tofurkey on Slapsgiving and remember that Marcy Playground taught you the true meaning of Halloween.
And know that, yes, even in 2012, some timeless adages will continue to hold true. What goes around comes back around, you get what you give, you can’t fight the tears that ain’t comin’, losing the game doesn’t mean that you’re losing the fight, and there ain’t no party like an S-Club party.
I may be talking out of my ass here, but this semi-charmed life is complicated and Clarissa won’t be there to explain it all to you. Chuckie won’t be there to tell you how dangerous it is, you can’t immediately erase someone’s memory when you screw up, you won’t be able to melt into a puddle on command, and you won’t have any pendants of life to trade in when something pops up and scares the living shit out of you. Sometimes, your best friend might even be too wrapped up in his or her own shit to spend an entire evening pushing jelly beans around on a balance to help you decide between the love of your life and some hot-ass ski instructor you’ve known for all of three hours.
Time won’t grab you by the wrist and direct you where to go. No one is going to show you the way. So, ask yourself, “What would Brian Boitano do?” and step into the party and disrupt the whole scene. Stop waiting on the world to change and get your ass out there and find that fucking dog.