(Graduation) Advice

Before Graduation season has totally petered out (what does that even mean?), here are some addresses I liked recently, and some paraphrased summaries. I recommend all of these for everyone at any time, regardless of graduation-status.

Joss Weedon at Wesleyan. TL;DR: Will you change the world? “Wrong question. You are changing the world. You don’t have a choice.”

David Foster Wallace at Kenyon. TL;DR: EVERYONE worships [something], even atheists. You just do. Don’t let it be the wrong thing (money, power, beauty, etc.) or it will “EAT YOU ALIVE.”

Jon Lovett at Pitzer. TL;DR: See something, say something. “I’d rather be wrong and cringe than right and regret not speaking up.”

My own advice for grads/everyone everywhere:

  1. Dive into what you love, immediately. If you aren’t sure what that is, dive into what you think you might love. Go for the most obvious thing first.

  2. Read fiction and pay attention to the world. Fiction is just incredible for your brain, And some seriously weird stuff is happening in the world. The news (and life) is overwhelming, but the sooner you throw that sail up, the sooner you’ll catch the current.

  3. Take time to be creative. Creating and designing is not just a way to produce something or have fun. It’s the best way to discover yourself and what you think/love.

  4. Remember that everything is incremental. Everything grows and changes a little bit at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. DO, however, try to do a little bit every day.

  5. Do stuff. Make choices, not excuses. Excuses lead to regrets. Choices lead to autonomy. The answer to almost every opportunity is “YES”.

That is all.

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