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Humor & Satire: Mr. Bouchard’s Guide to Graduating

Humor & Satire Editor

Published: Friday, May 18, 2012

Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012 16:05

As a rising junior and non-empathic sociopath, it’s difficult for me to place myself in a senior’s soon-to-be-graduating shoes. But according to the roughly eight thousand Facebook and SayAnything posts I’ve read, graduation is apparently a very emotional time. The impending separation from your close friends, the knowledge that you’ll soon be thrown into the real world like an egg into an oncoming jumbo jet, the bitterness of having never been LikeALittled, the realization that wherever you go in the world may not have its own Tasty Tuesday, and the regret of never having pet Deece Cat are just some of the many internal conflicts that could be at play in your fragile psyche. As you sit in your probably uncomfortable folding chair and listen to a speech by some faculty member you always thought worked in the Retreat, don’t let thoughts involving impending poverty and manic depression ruin what is supposed to be one of the most important moments of your already-peaked life. That’s what tomorrow morning is for. Until then, be merry, chums! And if that Dickens-esque interjection isn’t enough to save you from the graduation blues, follow my guide (the last one you’ll ever read, you lucky ducks) and find yourself in a world of momentary contentment!

<b>1. Focus on the positive.</b>

Think of it this way: unless you’re that one 86-year-old member of the senior class with scurvy, you still have your youth and health! And if you don’t have your health, at least you’re still young enough to read typeface this small. Any problem you may confront in life can be given a positive spin, my friends. No job? No reason to wake up early. Rejected from every graduate school you applied to? No more papers. Didn’t get honors? You’re not a gigantic nerd. Got honors? Nerds make more money and have hotter spouses to compensate for beings nerds. No idea where you’re living in a month? Neither did air nomad Avatar Aang, and he eventually defeated the Fire Lord and restored balance to the Four Nations. Afraid of leaving the Vassar Bubble? Everywhere you go can have its own bubble if you just never leave it. Scared to rely on yourself for the first time ever? Unless your parents hired someone to do all your school work for you, you’ve gotten yourself this far, bucko—I think you’ve done pretty well so far. And if your parents did hire someone to do all your work, never complain to me… ever.

<b>2. Treat every new challenge like a Vassar problem.</b>

You heard me. Life is filled with challenges and horrors you have yet to even imagine; you have to use what you’ve learned these past four years to claim victory over the world’s trials and tribulations. Attack each new problem like it was a Vassar problem. Heteronomative, racist, prejudiced, socially-constructed, elitist, hipster-esque, bro-esque, Lathrop-originating, chauvinistic, administrative, suburban, biased, discriminatory, man-hating, bigoted, narrow-minded, unwelcoming, patriarchal—these are your go-to words. We’ve had years of training—from SayAnything arguments and canceled luaus to emails from administrative officials desperate to keep their jobs and philosophical library bathroom graffiti. If nothing else, this school has taught us how to confront issues as liberal artsy as possible. Why not use that to your advantage? Next time the world throws you a curveball, tell that curveball to stop using gender-specific pronouns. When life gives you lemons, tell life to come back next time with a fruit that’s fair trade. And when your boss says he/she/ze wants you to stop playing Spider Solitaire and get back to work, tell him/her/zhim/zher that you don’t do any work on the dates between Gandhi’s birthday and the date of Isaac Asimov’s bar mitzvah for religious reasons. There’s a reason Vassar has produced so many successful lawyers in the past century—it’s an alumni lawsuit safety net.

<b>3. Take it one day at a time.</b>

Nothing good ever came of planning farther than three days in advance. Stop with the “Five-Year Plans” and “Career Goals” and “Dissertation Topics” and “Two-month rent contracts.” Do you know what you’re doing in an hour? Do you have your cell phone? Are you not having a heart attack? Do your legs work? Good enough. People who plan their lives four, five, even six days in advance are just begging to be thrown for a loop; when has anything ever—EVER—gone as you’ve planned? Transversely, when have things gone exactly as you haven’t planned? Exactly: the ill-prepared are the best prepared. Just as when Socrates douchily said, “All I know is I know nothing,” all we know is something horrible is coming for us tomorrow. The less we stress about it, the more time we have to play Super Smash Brothers and eat Peanut Butter M&Ms.

<b>4. Believe in yourself.</b>

Or, if you’re an illiterate failure, invest in the internet start-up created by your freshmen year roommate. You’re a Vassar grad, baby!—wherever you go in life, no matter how poor and shunned you may be, you can always count on successful Vassar alumni for delicious, delicious mooching.

<b>5. Come back and visit us.</b>

This isn’t really advice as much as it is an order. Come back and visit us! And have a great graduation/life!  

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