Monday, May 24, 2010

On high school graduations

Anybody remember that Baz Luhrmann song, Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen? I suppose that it's not really a song, so much as wisdom dispensed over a beat and played incessantly the summer before my senior year of high school.

While I don't dispute the wisdom that Mr. Luhrmann and as someone who has attended her fair share of high school graduations (as a youth worker, its in the job description), I've been thinking about my own little bit of advice Baz Luhrmann style:

To the Valedictorians, when writing your speeches:
-Funny is remembered and appreciated more than the serious (boring). If you can communicate some actual truth in the midst of humor, a+ for you. In 5 or 6 or 10 years when you deliver a Maid of Honor or Best Man toast, you would do well to remember this then too.
-We all know that you don't have enough life experience to share "wisdom" with your classmates. You don't have to remind us at the beginning of your speech.
-Thank your parents. Thank your friends and family, but don't belabor the point. We don't get the inside jokes, hilarious though they may be to you, and if you're one of ten valedictorians, we may not have the patience for it either.

For the graduates:
-Yes, life as you know it is changing. While it may be a little sad, don't let high school be your last big adventure. What a shame it would be to peak at 18... you've barely started living.
-You may have heard that life is what you make of it and it's true. You're at the point now called, "adulthood." Up until now, people have largely been making choices for you. Failure was always somewhat cushioned by youth. You're responsible for yourself now.
-Find good friends. Be comfortable with the fact that the good friends may not be the coolest. You're probably not as cool as you think you are either so it balances out.
-Take risks, but recognize that there is a difference in taking risks and risky behavior. Drinking excessively and passing out at that college party is not "taking a risk," it's mostly stupid.
-Love is hard work. It takes time and effort.

I think that's all;
And now... Mr. Luhrmann


Sarah said...

Well said Friend!