You’re graduating near the top of your class in a prestigious Ivy League university. You’re wearing a spare space-shuttle heat-shield tile on your head and there’s a silky golden tassel hanging over your red, hungover eyes as you stare in wonder at the world-wise speaker up there behind the podium. He has your full attention and he can talk about whatever he wants. The sky’s the limit. He can tell you silly, poignant stories about when he, himself, graduated from university. He can share some clever anecdote about a long time ago when he’d met a young Donald Trump. He can share some useful pointers about how to stand out and to rise quickly in the cut-throat business world. He can be as motivational as Tony Robbins.
The sky’s the limit. A commencement address can go just about anywhere, cover nearly any subject, risque or cliche, and that’s what makes it unique, memorable, and sometimes, exceptional.
With that being said, there are some things you’ll never hear at a graduation ceremony…
Ten Things You Don’t Hear at Your College Graduation Ceremony
- “Hello students, this is your Dean speaking. Just wanted to be the first to say, ‘Welcome to your freshman year at college.’”
- The sound of a Tyrannosaurus Rex fighting a Spinosaurus.
- Other peoples’ thoughts.
- A musical performance by all four of the Beatles.
- Professor Steven Hawking singing “My Heart Will Go On,” and nailing it.
- “Hello students, this is your Dean speaking. At the end of the ceremony, instead of throwing your hats in the air, please throw your pants.”
- “Hello Deans, this is your student speaking. Why are there so many of you sitting there in the audience and only one of me up here on stage? What kind of dopey college is this anyway?”
- The sound of one hand clapping.
- A convincing argument for the existence of a family of plesiosaurs in Loch Ness.
- The sound of one foot smelling.