Whenever I sit down to write a humor piece I begin by crying into my blanket and thinking about all the mean things my daddy used to say to me. Then, after I’ve cleaned up and remind myself that I am a rising senior in college, I get to typing. But this time I didn’t need to think about childhood pain because Commencement has given me more than enough feels. I started writing for this section sometime last spring and have done so regularly throughout this school year. In that time I’ve written for two Humor editors: the Jewish, French-Canadian chronic masturbator, Jean-Luc Bouchard, and the woman voted most likely to show up to a vegan dinner party with a grilled flank steak, Lily Doyle. Unless you’re one of those seniors who has never strayed farther than 10 feet from your freshmen-year friend group, you know that both of these people are graduating. So, yeah, I’m a mess.
Looking back over Jean-Luckily’s (trademark pending) previous Commencement guides to graduating and achieving infamy, I realized that there is very little left to be said about the subject. You walk across a platform, grab your diploma, do a cartwheel, snort a bump, and then ride the maverick into the next chapter of your life. You don’t need some patchy-bearded motherfucker like me to give you some advice on how to grow up, especially when there’s still a year of VC awaiting him (Haha, suck it!). In racking my brain to think of one thing to leave with y’all, I’ve determined that all I can honestly say is: Thank you.
Thank you for filling this campus with a sense of familiarity these last three years. I’ve gotten to a great number of you by face—and some faces I’ve been more intimate with than others—but many of them have become permanent fixtures on this campus in my mind. I can easily tell which people sitting in the Retreat are 2014ers based on the wet odor of dripping anticipation, unabashed eagerness for employment and just a tinge of perpetual fear of the #reallife mixed in with cheap coffee. It warms my soul, and I’m sorry we have to wave goodbye to you today. You went from being our student fellows, those cool upperclassmen who lived down the hall and offered us shots of Crystal Palace, or the intimidating leaders in our orgs who made up fear God, to leaving as some of the best friends we’ll ever make in this life. Yuck.
Thank you for pushing us to believe in ourselves. I’m the kind a guy who thrives off of talented, intelligent peers (and spiced rum). I entered college as a brittle-spined dweebnozzle that could barely form a sentence together in front of strangers. (Now I’m all of that but with a fancy byline.) Just from listening to some of you speak in class, I’d assume you were all born with dictionaries in your mouths (Oxford not Merriam-Webster). I know without your pretentious syntax and diction I never would have felt like fighting nerves and fright to spit out a jumble of bullshit every 16th class session, and for that I thank you. Even if it was as small as a compliment on a point made during a discussion, a work of art or performance, or if you turned to a self-loathing freshman in your linguistics class to ask him if he would be interested in being an assistant editor for the features section at the Misc…those kind words have stuck with us and continue to fuel our confidence. So if we become egomaniacal monsters five years down the line, it’s definitely your fault.
Thank you for showing us that life outside of Vassar is possible. For those of you who have landed a job after graduation, that’s awesome and know that your unemployed friends detest your existence. For those who are struggling to find work, I truly believe the search won’t last that long (my magic 8 ball has never lied to me before!). Vassar has made you all strong fighters with words, taught you how to love wholeheartedlly and gifted you with four of the most stressful years in your 22 years of living . Sure, the future is a clusterfuck of not-knowing, but I believe that each of you will find success. I mean the rest of us are watching, so no matter how afraid you are or uncertain you might be, you kind of have to get over it. Just because you’re all leaving doesn’t mean you don’t have a team of cheerleaders rooting for you back on campus (I’m personally ready to finally break in my pom-poms).
So congratulations—we’ll miss you! Kthxbai!