Commencement speeches are the worst part about college graduation because they are unnecessarily long and generally terrible. They are filled with empty Mitch Albom style feel good life advice that nobody will remember five minutes after it is said. Their existence is meant to impart some kind of “your first day in the real world begins now” wisdom on young minds but all they really do is move our attention to our phones where we play Words With Friends.
Political commentator David Gergen spoke at my graduation and I don’t remember a single thing he said probably because stories about the Gerald Ford administration weren’t particularly interesting at 22 when all I could think about was the economic maelstrom I was walking into after picking up my degree. I was a bit focused on where I was drinking that evening, too.
Universities should spare students the wasted 20 minutes or so and, instead, just give them their degrees so they can go off into the world and figure out what the heck they’re going to do with the rest of their lives. Or, better yet, maybe devote that 20 minutes allotted for some important speaker with real world experience to a stand-up comedian of some kind. At least make ‘em laugh moments before they’re stuck with decades of indentured service to these fine institutions of higher learning.
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