Friday, June 10, 2011

Graduation: I think Vitamin C said it best

So it's that time of year when every mediocre sitcom ends their spring season with a cheap, tear-jerking graduation episode. I mean, let's be real, I sob watching every one (this year-Suite Life on Deck, Greek, etc... wait, stop judging me.), but still. It's graduation time.
There are a few things youngsters should know as they gloriously leave the familiar embrace of their schools.
1. You are not leaving gloriously. You are one member of a graduating class of probably about 500. Calm down.
1.5. You will very soon (possibly- I don't know you) be entering an institution of higher education, and that gives you the right to be a little pretentious. You can even call people a mere two years younger than you "youngsters." Well, you can, but you probably shouldn't.
2. So hey, be excited.
3. But maybe not too excited. The widespread concept of college is one of reckless joy, immediate and effortless friendships, and drinking. While all of these certainly have an aspect of truth, your experience is your own. The beginning of my own university career included none of these things. And I'm not alone in this. Sure, it's true that everyone's in the same boat when you start, pretty much alone. But that doesn't mean friends will just appear out of desperation. Which leads to...
4. Finding a niche can take a while. I mean, it might not, but for a lot of people it does. For me, I needed to leave the country to find mine. Other people join Greek life or history club or shamelessly flirt in their Bio labs. To each their own.
5. Be thankful for Facebook. Where just ten years ago people only had awkward interactions with friends from home on breaks, now we can actually maintain lines of communication. However, if you really want to keep the promises you make of being bestest friends forevers you make in the summer following graduation, you need to take the initiative. Let's face it: your friends are lazy. It's ok, so are mine. You need to be the person to write something ridiculous with no context on their wall, send a link to a Harry Potter rap, or leave annoying long videos. Because they're not going to. It's not that they don't care, they just don't want to put in the effort to initiate. Also, let's face it, they're not as funny as you.
6. Go to class. No, seriously. Go to fricken class.
7. Accept that drifting apart from some friends is inevitable. Sure, I've already emphasized the importance of social networking, but some people don't really use it. And some of those people are just going to quietly leave your life, and that's ok. Just today, I was looking casually over a magnetic board where I have some friends' senior pictures hanging. I caught sight of a picture of a guy I haven't spoken to in quite a while, and my first thought was, "Who IS that?" Now, this is a guy I saw almost every day for over four years. We spent the entirety of high school laughing together and making fun of each other. And after just two years apart, it took me a second to remember his name. In a few more years, it will take me a few more seconds. Yeah, it's sad, but unfortunately that is part of the nature of post-high school life. But so are days with just an hour of school work required of you. So, you know, pros and cons.
8. Enjoy this last real span of time you have with your friends. Coming as someone who's pretty much an expert on nostalgia, believe me, this is the best time. Everyone's excited to be finished with all that work, and you haven't started freaking out about the next step yet. It's just trips to the lake and James Bond marathons for a few months. Plus, it's grad party season, which means you practically don't even need to buy groceries. Just go steal some face cake from the baseball captain's party. There will be so many people there, you'll just blend into the masses. Just don't get the theater kid started on his audition piece for his fine arts college application. He's boring and never realizes no one cares.
So go give your best friend a hug and then go play some ultimate frisbee or whatever it is you crazy kids are doing these days. The next graduation you have to look forward to is from college, which people care significantly less about, and following which you have the terrifying clutches of unemployment to attempt to avoid. PARTY TIME.

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