“Never Have Your Dog Stuffed”

That was the title of Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce Alan Alda’s second, highly entertaining memoir. A lot of the book consisted of graduation advice that Mr. Alda had delivered over the years, and seeing as today brings with it the second graduation of the week (’tis the season), I thought I’d offer some of my own advice to the graduating class of 2010. It won’t be Frank the Tank’s, or this (dead) author‘s, or even this gal’s (no, it wasn’t penned by Kurt Vonnegut).

This man had the right idea. (Except, of course, for the overdose.)

To the graduating class of 2010:

If I could offer you just two words, it would be this: Go back. I mean, have you people lost your freaking minds? Unemployment’s at 9.9 %, there’s so much oil in the gulf of Louisiana that it’s now legally owned by a Saudi prince, the country’s still fighting two wars, and Megan Fox isn’t doing Transformers 4. I mean, seriously people, is this really “the real world” you want to enter? (Even “that phrase” is now the intellectual property rights of MTV.)

But, if you’ve taken every art history elective your small, not-quite-Ivy liberal arts college offers, if you’ve drunk so much grain alcohol fruit punch that you now consider nail polish remover mixed with Kool-Aid a delicacy, if you’ve screwed every coed on campus who didn’t ‘go gay’ during their college years, and your university of higher learnin’ is absolutely, positively kicking you out, here is my advice:

Take a job, any job. Seriously, what, you have a B.A. (or, heaven forbid, a B.F.A.) from a “prestigious” liberal arts institution? Take any job! And when you do, please forward me a loan.

Get to know your parents. Seriously, you’ll thank me. Just don’t do it by moving back in with them. (You’ll thank me for that too.) And when you do get to know them, start a Twitter account ASAP.

Buy the entire West Wing series on DVD– you’re going to have a bucket-load of time on your hands now that your friends have moved away. These characters will become your friends, quite possibly your only friends.

Smoke as much marijuana as you possibly can in the first year out of college. Because very, very soon all the wacky tobacky is going to do is make you very, very tired.

Go travel! Preferably outside the United States! Preferably cheaply! See the world, and don’t return until the Great Recession is over.

Hell yes, I'll have that beer!

Go volunteer for Palin 2012. I mean, you have time on your hands, and years from now it’ll be fucking hilarious to tell your children you volunteered for Sarah Palin’s misadventure in ’12.

If you’re intent on staying in the country and not volunteering, invent an app. That’s my only hope for you– invent an app. That, or a way to plug a clusterfuck of an oil leak really, really quickly.

If none of these options appeal to you, become a country singer. It seems that anyone can do it, and even the ones failing seem pretty happy.

Go on real dates. Honest to God, dinner-and-a-movie dates, not drunken-hook-ups at parties. (I didn’t say “the real world” was going to be any fun.) You’ll get ahead of the pack real quickly.

Look at these pretty, racially diverse people. They have no idea what's waiting for them. None.

Remember to file your taxes. Always. Even if your name is ‘Wesley Snipes’. The government doesn’t care you have no discernible post-graduate income.

Find a cougar to pay off your student loans, or you’re going to be stuck with them for a l-o-n-g time. (This applies to women as well; I’m pretty sure there are lesbian cougars.)

Resist the temptation to hang around your old college. Instead, get the criminally underrated Undeclared series on DVD, and a bottle of whiskey. Same effect, and no one will judge you if you’re alone in your living room.

Break up with your college significant other ASAP. Right now. This person is probably your last chance at happiness, your non-Alex O’Loughlin back-up plan, and you don’t need to ruin it now– you need it to last.

Whatever you do, don’t write a screenplay. No one wants to read your fucking screenplay.

Don’t get drunk on graduation night and jump into the lake with no clothes. You will walk home in wet clothes, get a cold, and get sick for your first week in “the real world”. (Or so I’ve heard.)

Soon your college friends will start getting married. Encourage this; if done right, it’s a wild party, a last hurrah with your college friends.

Soon your college friends will start having babies. Don’t encourage this; it will merely make you realize how fucking long ago college was.

Remind me again, please, where Mickey Mouse graduated from?

Remember: You will never be as happy, as good-looking, as young as you are in this moment, your graduation weekend. Get out there and enjoy the hell of it!

But remember, you have a dorm room with friends, a meal plan, and it’s perfectly acceptable to wear pajama pants out of the house. Here’s my advice: Go back.


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