I cannot address every college and high school graduation ceremony to which I have been invited to speak, mainly because I haven't been invited to speak at any of them. But on the off chance that any of you high school seniors and new Baccalaureates want to know what I would say to you, here it is:
Well, you young folks about to take your next big step in the world, as the Editor in Chief of the Alexandria Daily Poop I would just like to offer you a bit of advice.
First off, avoid spilling beer on the keyboard of your computer as it makes the keys stick at a minimum and you might even knock out one or two keys and need to use the on-screen keyboard to type an address or a blog post.
Not that I've ever done anything that dumb.
Second, for you kids graduating from high school, don't waste your time and money on classes like "women's studies". (You should have had that Home Ec thing completed in 10th grade).
Seriously, high schoolers, we have enough freaking lawyers already. And we have a glut of the busybodies known as "helping professionals" trying to make Stuart Smalleys out of every soul that falls into their hands.
And avoid "political science" courses like the plague. "Poli-Sci" is a big load of crap. Politics is not a science, it's an art like pickpocketing, safecracking, and running crooked dice games and pigeon-drop scams are.
Some of you think you want to be journalists. Be aware that the Left has invested possibly more time and effort into brainwashing young aspiring journalists than it has corrupting the other areas of the academy. If you have to parrot back a bunch of Leftist tripe to get that sheepskin, then do it. But once you have that degree "With all the rights and priveleges that attain thereto" you are in. Once you are, think for yourself. Don't just use a bunch of "talking points" to frame your story.
And beware the "student loan" trap. As a matter of fact, college financing is pretty screwed up right now. Before you take out a huge loan that bankruptcy will not rescue you from should your efforts fail, take a couple years off and get a job doing something that requires real work, like going to the Dakotas and laboring on an oil or gas project; or maybe hack a cab. (Only join the armed forces if you are ready to be deployed to some place where people will try to kill you. This war we are in has not ended despite the pronouncements of the Current Resident of the White House, and it's not likely to end any time soon.)
Remember that one reason college is so expensive is precisely because these student loans are available. As Frank Zappa once advised, go to the public library and educate yourself. And don't think community college is for losers. There are guys who hold an associate degree who are doing better than some snob who is barely making it but takes comfort in the fact that he can expect people to fall on their asses when they find he graduated from Harvard. And while the Community College guy is raking in the bucks and planning to take his family on a cruise, the Harvard guy is shopping for an answering machine so he can screen his calls and avoid the guy trying to collect on that damn student loan.
As for you new college graduates, well, you may well have just screwed yourselves royally, especially if you voted for Obama. If your major was anything having to do with the "liberal arts", then after you get your sheepskin run, don't walk to the nearest Gap, Banana Republic, McDonald's or Dunkin' Donuts and get a job before they hire some lady from El Salvador instead of you.
However if your major was in some aspect of business or information technology, you may well have a bright future. Unlike your fellows who went for fruitcake degrees, you chose something practical. You alone have the smarts to regenerate the economy to a point where there might be room for the kind of frippery that liberal arts majors engage in.
But I will save my final remarks for those college graduates who went to school on an ROTC scholarship. Provided you make it through the subsequent military training in Officer Candidate School you will be commissioned as Ensigns or Second Lieutenants and recieve a single gold bar. When that happens, Petty Officers and Sergeants - most of whom will be your elders - will be required to salute you and obey you.
So remember that a non-com with several years of experience should be looked upon as a valuable assistant who can provide advice and guidance which could well save the lives of you and those under your command. Until you demonstrate that you realize this, you will be called a "butterbar" behind your back. Rank can be bestowed. Command must be attained. Remember that you are just as obligated to return the salute of an enlisted person as they are obligated to offer it.
Oh, and one more thing for all of you: There have been times past and there will be times to come when you have been or will be told that you are "too young" to do or qualify for this or that. Know that you can always get older (cannot help it, even).
Just wait until the first time you are told you are "too old". You will never be any younger. So strike while the iron is hot. Go forth and make your way as best you can.
Ninety percent of what anyone says at any commecement ceremony is maudlin blather. Reality awaits. Deal with it.