Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 2003:
The Class Day Chairs have overlooked my wisdom in their selection of an elite journalist to address the senior class in May. Sniffle, sniffle, tear. I know, it’s sad. But given the unique position of this elite journalist — in bed, that is, with one of the scene editors — you will have the honor of reading what I might have said.
Let us depart on a bumpy ride down memory lane. Give in to the nostalgia and reflect upon the good, the bad, and the facts of life…especially Tutti — she’s hot!
It’s been a helluva trip. There have been enough adventures and near-disasters to last a lifetime — and that was just in the first month of freshman year. Sure, life has been uneventful since then. But lately, I’ve been mulling over the events of 1999, and even some of sophomore year, and we have much to learn from our limited experience.
The advice I will now dispense is completely unfounded and biased by my deepest insecurities. So here goes — grab a Snickers ‘cuz this might take a while:
1. Get naked, often and with pride. We were all born that way, and I would like to die that way. Clothes are silly, and they’re usually flammable. Trust me on this…
2. Hold onto a few close friends and know that you can’t stay in touch with everyone. And most definitely hook up with those sort-of friends you won’t stay in touch with. What else are they good for at this point?
3. Nepotism makes the world go ’round. No one ever accomplishes anything by him/herself, and those who do become the subjects of feel-good movies. You aren’t Rudy Ruettiger, so don’t ever be ashamed to ask for help.
4. Money also makes the world go ’round. You won’t be able to afford your ideals in the real world, so give them up now. Do you know how much health insurance costs?
5. One word: plastics.
6. Another word: latex.
7. Yet another word: threesome!
8. Watch “The Big Lebowski” once a year. Realize that while the Dude is cool, his pacifism ultimately leads to disaster. Watch “Election” once a year. Realize that Tracy Flick’s intensity only distances her classmates. If you can strike a good balance between Lebowski and Flick, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
9. Fake it till you make it. You’re only as good as people think you are. This applies to school, employment and romantic endeavors.
10. Always double-check. This applies to wiping your ass. Be reckless in all other pursuits.
11. Everyone has his/her own problems. Your troubles aren’t more or less important than those of high maintenance friends. No one lives in the best of all possible worlds, so just cultivate your garden and be content, damn it.
12. To the fellas: hair will inevitably migrate from desirable locations to undesirable locations. Only pluck that rogue shoulder hair for special occasions, or you’ll turn into a gorilla.
13. To the ladies: we know you’re not that tall. You aren’t fooling anyone with those six-inch platform boots. They only emasculate short dudes. Be mindful of your stature.
14. A wise man once said, listen more than you speak. I asked him what he meant by this, but he didn’t answer.
15. Be careful with other people’s hearts, or you can’t expect them to be careful with yours. You only have one heart, but you have lots of brain cells. If you want to be irresponsible, do so with alcohol.
16. A Yale diploma won’t get you laid post-Yale unless you’re employed. Don’t plan on rearing children till the cash starts rolling in.
17. A Yale diploma doesn’t guarantee employment. You may never get laid again.
18. Always wear clean underwear. You don’t want to get caught in a bad situation (or a good situation) in dirty whites.
19. No underwear is preferable to dirty underwear.
20. Don’t listen to anybody, ever, even if he/she is really smart. No one knows more about you than you. Sure, your parents, friends, and teachers might show faint flickers of insight into the complexity of your dreams; and sure, you owe some unconditional respect to those who’ve raised, taught and sometimes clothed you. But really, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Even me. I don’t know why you’re reading this column. You should stop right now.
Joel E. Resnicow is a senior in Beerson College. He wishes the graduating class good luck and many more good times.