Hey, you. Second row. Fourth seat from the end. Cap and gown.
Graduation requires sitting through the obligatory commencement ceremony before you commence. You have listened to the “reach for the stars” valedictorian and the “follow your dreams” salutatorian speeches.
In a few minutes, they will call your name. You will walk across the stage and receive your diploma.
This isn’t my first pomp and circumstance. I have raised a family and held a full-time job for 40 years. I have traveled to 38 states and 12 countries. I cut my own grass and cook breakfast for my wife every morning.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I’ve pondered most of the questions.
Could I have your attention, please?
You cannot binge-watch life. It is not a “quick pick” on a lottery ticket. You have to grind. Persevere. Stick to it. Give us thy daily grit.
If you laugh, you will live longer. It has been proven in medical studies and scientific journals. It is even says it in the Bible. A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Think before your tweet. And don’t write like you text.
Time’s up. You can no longer use “senioritis” as an excuse for not putting forth any effort. After today, it qualifies as laziness.
You really need to know how to tell time by looking at the hands of a clock, use a dictionary, write in cursive and read a map.
Don’t give up on people. I once knew a young man who was the brattiest kid in the sixth grade. His senior year of high school, he was named the “Golden Eagle” recipient for citizenship.
If your head is constantly buried in your cellphone, you’re going to miss out on a lot of beautiful sunsets. And people.
The book is always better than the movie. (Except for “Forrest Gump.”)
Sometimes the reward is in the going, not the getting there.
Don’t buy things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like and who don’t like you.
You will have homework every night for the rest of your life. Get used to it. And please turn it in on time.
Don’t treat people as if they are invisible.
Do you remember what you were taught about crossing the street? Well, you should look both ways in everything you do.
Hug your classmates. Many of them have been sitting next to you in class for the past 12 years. After graduation, you may never see some of them again.
Measure twice, cut once. Write once, edit twice.
You will get more emotional as you get older. Even chewing gum commercials will put a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes. (I speak from experience.)
No, you don’t deserve a trophy in every sport you play.
Have fun but not so much fun that you can’t be good. And be good but not so good that you can’t have fun. A preacher once told me that. It was advice he gave his teenage daughters.
Coach John Wooden was a man of infinite wisdom. “You can’t live a perfect day,’’ he said, “without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.’’
There is a reason why you have two ears and one mouth.
When you’re not moving your body, move your mind. And when you’re not moving your mind, move your body.
Eat your vegetables. (I will give you a pass on the beets.)
Tolerance is a virtue. “You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw rocks at every dog that barks.’’ — Winston Churchill.
Understand the importance of writing thank-you notes.
Quit making most of your purchases online. If folks stop supporting local businesses, we will be in a heap of trouble.
Every day is a dress rehearsal for the bigger stages. Be ready for your cue.
You will get a better deal if you can make the salesperson want to sell you a car more than you want to buy it.
And, if you buy that car, be sure to take the scenic route.
Ed Grisamore teaches journalism at Stratford Academy in Macon. His column appears on Sundays in The Telegraph.