Dave Barry’s “Commencement Address”
In the season of graduation, his column from 2004 doesn’t so much contain advice as, perhaps, hold up a mirror to the graduating “audience”.
This is your big day — the day when you jam four years’ worth of unlaundered underwear into a Hefty bag and leave college, prepared by your professors to go out into the Real World. The first thing you’ll notice is that your professors did not go out there with you. They’re not stupid; that’s why they’re professors. They’ve figured out that college is a carefree place where the most serious real problem is finding a legal parking space. So your professors are going to stay in college until they die. Even then, they’ll go right on teaching classes. This is called ”tenure.” But you have committed the grave tactical blunder of acquiring enough credits to graduate. So now you’re leaving college and embarking upon the greatest adventure — and the biggest challenge — of your young lives: moving back in with your parents.
Decades ago, when I graduated from college, my friends and I would rather have undergone a vasectomy with a fondue fork than move back in with our parents. But times have changed, and today many graduates don’t want to go straight from college into a harsh and unforgiving world fraught with unbearable hardships, such as no free high-speed Internet. And so many of you will return home, hand your Hefty bag to Mom for processing, and move back into your old room, which is filled with your childhood memories, not to mention the faint aroma of gerbil doots.
Is this a bad thing? Does the fact that you, a grown adult, are moving back in with your parents mean that you’re a sponging loser?
Yes. You are SpongeBob LoserPants.
No! Sorry! I mean: No. It’s fine! Your parents don’t mind! They’re thrilled to have you back home! Even from way up here on the podium, I can hear their teeth grinding with joy. …