Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Appropriate Warnings

So first off, I'd like to thank everyone who has congratulated me on graduating. It certainly wasn't always a given that I was going to escape Columbia in the good graces of the administration or with a diploma; the fact that I accomplished both of those is as pleasantly surprising to me as it may be to you.

That being said, a lot of the comments that follow "Congratulations on graduating!" have made me uncomfortable. For example, I've been told things like, "Congratulations on graduating! Now you get to work until you die!" and "Congratulations on graduating! It'll never get any better!" I appreciate that you're taking the time to wish me well, but please keep in mind that graduation is traumatic enough as is; the last thing I need is to be reminded how much more unpleasant everything that follows could be. For your benefit, I've compiled a list of acceptable corrections to oft-heard advice that will still convey the appropriate, intended warning.

Instead of: Congratulations! You'll never have so much freedom to do whatever you want ever again!
Try: Congratulations! You're going to have such an easy time coming up with schedules in the future!

Instead of: Congratulations! Soon you'll realize how good and easy you had it!
Try: Congratulations! You're nostalgic feelings are going to be so much better!

Instead of: Congratulations! Now you get to work until you die!
Try: Congratulations! If you work long enough, you'll get a super long vacation and be able to relax all you want!

Instead of: Congratulations! Welcome to the real world where you need to work for everything you want!
Try: Congratulations! You chose the red pill!

So, let me get this straight. Before taking the blue pill, I need to intentionally fail at least two classes? That doesn't sound too difficult...

In other news, my good friend Neil (another recent, but more productive, graduate) is well on his way to becoming a professional musician. One of his current projects is a fusion band that draws from Scottish, jazz and Latin influences. You can read about them and listen to a track here; check them out, I've seen them live a couple of times and the music is fantastic.

But in all honesty, thanks for all the well wishes; I really appreciate them. I'll be sure to keep you posted on life post-graduation.

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