You know, I’d like to quit thinking of the present, like right now,
as some minor insignificant preamble to something else.
—Cynthia Dunn, Dazed and Confused
Friends and Associates,
I, like you, am very busy in the weeks leading up to summer. Summer, that paragon of freedom and opportunity that—so long as you didn’t just graduate into the staggeringly terrifying prospect of “future in a recession” (sucka!)—is so, so awesome. The approach of summer combined with the staggering amount of work and heartbreaking lack of genius I am currently experiencing has created this slightly embittered (yet hopeful) and highly plagiarized (yet adapted) editor’s letter.
Most of the content below comes from Charles Wheelan’s 10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You on WSJ Online, except for the things that don’t. I like most of his life advice so decided to pass it on to every innocent bystander reading this issue (our third! And thanks to all who made it so great!), including those of you graduating. Because what is commencement, really, besides an arbitrary marker for starting a life you could be living now? So read on, and live right:
1. Your time in dirty Chouinard dorms was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper (SHAMELESS PLUG), or just hanging with friends. Research tells us that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings. So pass that joint, bro…
2. Some of your worst days lie ahead.
3. Don’t make the world worse. Everyone will tell you that you can change the world. They are right, but remember that “changing the world” also can include things like skirting financial regulations and selling unhealthy foods to increasingly obese children. I am not asking you to cure cancer. I am just asking you not to spread it…
4. Marry someone smarter than you are. Provided you are legally allowed to marry that person.
5. Help stop the Little League arms race. What happened to playing baseball because it’s fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. You’ll never read the following obituary: “Bob Smith died yesterday at the age of 74. He finished life in 186th place…”
Wheelan makes some other fine points, but I’m gonna leave it up to you to figure out the rest of his steps to great living. For now I’ll mention that contained in these pages are other guidelines and resources for living great from word puzzles (only available in print edition), to a How-To Guide for Change (with—similar to this letter—numbered steps!), to the ever insightful pontificating of two guys on networking, and a meditation on flexible thinking. And much, much more. I am super proud of this issue, and can’t wait to be back next year to hear what you all did with your life-changing summers. We’ll see you then, and hope you’ll tell us all about it.