This isn’t a weight loss post
Today, if everything goes well (I’m writing this post ahead of time), I’ll have spoken at the Marietta College Matriculation for the class of 2020. Below is a copy of my remarks, and here’s a photo taken from mine, 10 years ago, almost to the day.
I was recently at a wedding for one of the girls, another was a bridesmaid, and the third sat at my table for it (thanks for the copy of the photo, Laura!). The guy on the far right was my roommate sophomore year, and at the time this photo was taken I didn’t know any of them.
I’m incredibly jealous of these kids starting their college experiences today.
Welcome! Welcome to the Class of 2020. It is my sincere honor, privilege, and pleasure to be the VERY FIRST to tell you that I hate how YOUNG you all look.
10 years ago I sat in one of your seats and an alumnus up here made that joke. I thought it was appropriate to bring it back for two reasons: the first, let’s say, is tradition, but the second is that, in case it bombed, I had a stranger to blame for it.
But anyway, I had just moved from Florida, 900 miles away, and didn’t know a soul. And I sat there and listened to that old guy, probably nearly 30, talk about how college would be the best four years of my life.
And that’s, kinda depressing when you think about it!
For crying out loud, you’ll graduate at the age of 22!
Or 25, for that one guy in the back.
The guy up here had the audacity to tell me the remaining 50-60 years of my life were going to be all downhill from graduation on.
Well, quite frankly, I don’t know if it’s true or not, I’m only a few years out myself. I’ll let find out on your own. I can say that thanks to alumni, friends, colleagues, and the College itself, I have been given some pretty amazing opportunities to give my time and talents back.
But I did find treasure in my college experience. And I’d like to pass on just one tidbit as you move into your residence halls and yet another round of icebreaker games with your hall mates.
Where Marietta College shines ISN’T the Professors, Faculty, or Staff, though they’re wonderful, and wise.
And in the case of Dr. and Mr. Walker, and my Comm 101 class, incredibly patient.
The College isn’t wonderful because of the buildings, town, trails, community, and the festivals, though they’re beautiful, and a blast, and you should explore them.
The College shines because of the people sitting in the seats next to you.
You won’t believe what you’ll learn about yourself during the next four years – and beyond – by learning about the people sitting beside you,
and in the bleachers! and in your classes.
Stay up till 3am arguing politics or religion with someone you think you’d never agree with, and listen, and sometimes change your mind.
Help a new friend prepare their favorite home cooked meal in the dorm kitchen. Sit around the fire during Greek rush and recruitment and learn about the people who came before you.
JOIN EVERY CLUB! Devote your time to learning about what makes the people near you tick.
If you’re experiencing Marietta College the right way, College may be your best 4 years, but it will certainly seem like the shortest 4 years.
I do have the great honor of welcoming you, on behalf of all Marietta College alumni, to our small and beautiful campus. And on behalf of those alumni, I ask you to learn the stories of the people around you. They’ll be your friends for life.
You’ll lean on them during difficult times,
And you’ll tell them first about engagements, babies, and new jobs.
But we alumni surrounding you wish you the very best, and for your path to be crowned with laurels and achievements. For you will, sooner than you realize, be one of us.
The MCAA Board, Regional Associations, and the rest of the members of the Long Blue Line are excited to meet you, so please! Take a second to do introduce yourselves to us.
We’ve got a lot of stories, internships, and job experiences, from astronauts and TV stars, to volunteers and city council members.
But whatever you choose to do, I can’t wait to hear YOUR stories, and I can’t wait to have them become a part of our community.
I’m incredibly jealous, because you’re in for a GREAT 4 years. Thank you, and Good luck to you all.