Packing. Just the thought of it stresses many people out. One group in particular is new college freshmen. Trying to pack everything you think you’ll need for the next 9 months is a daunting task, especially for students going long distances from home. As the oldest child, no matter how many college tours you go on, no matter how many info sessions you try to stay awake through, you don’t really know what to expect. As I get ready for my second year of college, I realize just how different the first year is from the rest.


“What should I take? Does my roommate want to share a fridge or do I need my own? What about a trashcan? Which clothes need to be taken upfront, or should I swap at Christmas? Definitely switch at Christmas. But will I need a coat before then? Or perhaps just…

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Words I wish I’d heard at my own high school graduation. You know what I did get to hear, however? Our class speaker giving a speech that used the word “passions” at least thirty times, followed by a failed attempt to rile up the crowd with nonexistent school spirit. (He goes to my university as well. I see him, and I remember.)

Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Read this commencement address…

LIFE and Leadership by Chris Brady

Someone sent me the transcript from a commencement speech.  The title and beginning featured a slightly shocking pattern interrupt. In other words, they caught me by surprise. I found myself so intrigued I read further, and eventually realized that, unlike 99% of everything else I ever receive, I could not stop reading this. I have included it below in its entirety for your enjoyment and pondering. I love how it concludes, and think there are many, many fine points made along the way. Oh, if we could only think and behave thus!

Here it is!

Here’s a new one in the annals of commencement speakers. A teacher at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts gave his address to the Class of 2012 and blasted the students, telling them over and over, “You’re not special.”

(Dennis R.J. Geppert/AP)

David McCullough Jr., an English teacher at the school, delivered his rather unusual…

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Second Lunch

It’s been 4 years since I graduated from college. I remember being 22 and thinking that the whole world was in front of me, but at the same time I remember feeling really confused and cautious because it was like looking into a white-out snow storm. There were a lot of scary things being said at the time, things like, “recession” and “Snooki”. But, eventually, I realized all you can ever really do is go forward and kick as much yeti ass (see: work hard) as you can.

P.S. I’m not typically one to dish out advice, but if you’re a recent grad, here are some things I’ve learned along the way towards the twilight of my post grad years.

1. No one ever asks for your GPA


3. Your Facebook News Feed is going to turn into a baby and wedding Tumblr.

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Thank goodness! I’m not the only one in the world!

The Waiting

In February 1995, a very important discovery was made as I rode home with my mom for dinner.

Trees have leaves. And you can see them. Like, from far away.

I had just been outfitted with my first pair of glasses and it was love. (Yeah, the “first sight” kind. Har Har.)

I didn’t need to wear them everyday and I didn’t until I went to college, but those glasses were my gateway drug to the world of what is the best accessory ever created. If they love you as much as you love them*, they will fill your life with the blessings of clear sight and that just-finished-attending-a-foreign-film look. We are smarty-pants and we are proud. Or at least we simply appreciate the idea of looking like we’ve read a book.

*And let’s face it: glasses don’t love everyone. But please allow those of us who can’t shouldn’t wear…

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You know when, sometimes …


You know when, sometimes you meet someone so beautiful, and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later, they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, and you meet them and you think, ‘Not bad; they’re okay.’ And then you get to know them, and their face sort of becomes them, like their personality is written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful. Rory’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.

Amy Pond

“The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who)