To this year’s graduates:
As you cross the stage to receive your diploma, remember that you’re crossing a brand new threshold in your young life. That’s because, in most cases, your parents have already arranged for the contents of your room to be hauled onto the front lawn and sold, probably during the graduation ceremony itself.
Or maybe even AT the graduation ceremony itself:
“Before we call our next graduate, I’d like to turn your attention to the roller blades I’m wearing. They, along with other items belonging to Billy Schlependorf, will be available for purchase after the ceremony in the courtyard…”
That’s right. By the time you get home, you’ll be lucky if you’re room still has the same light switch. I know this may sound harsh, but it is something that parents do out of LOVE. It’s about your parents helping you make that important transition into independence, even if it means turning your bedroom into patio space between the new hot tub and gazebo.
I know it’s hard to believe, but that’s how much your parents are willing to sacrifice in order to help you find your place in the world — which, by the way, doesn’t include living in the attic, basement or any of the utility closets. This means finding a job. Something that will allow you to apply the cumulative knowledge you’ve acquired through years of higher education. It means competing in today’s tough job market against like-minded graduates.
It means, in many cases, a career in the food service industry.
For those who might be contemplating this opportunity (or who might be wearing a hair net at this very moment), keep in mind that some of the world’s most successful business people got their start in the food service industry. And keep in mind that just because I can’t think of any right now doesn’t mean it’s not true, because I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere. Really.
I’m a big fat liar.
It doesn’t mean that working in fast food can’t be rewarding. In fact, ask any journalist, and they will tell you that there’s nothing more rewarding than being a fry cook. To prove it, I’m going to stop writing at this very moment and pose this question to each of my fellow journalists here in the newsroom…
Just as I expected: every reporter I talked to agreed that there is nothing more rewarding than being a fry cook! [Editor: Please note that you are surrounded by big fat liars.]
So, what does all of this mean exactly?
For you graduates, it means taking your first steps into the world on your own. As you do, I’d suggest you stop by that table in the court yard.
You never know when a cheap pair of roller blades might come in handy.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at email@example.com, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439)