Sports Editor delivers his speech to grads
The year in preps
Thursday, May 24: The moments that mattered.
Friday, May 25: The best games of the year.
Saturday, May 26: Freud’s commencement address to the students.
Sunday, May 27: Freud’s commencement address to the parents.
Congratulations to me, as well, for surviving another year of high school sports coverage. Since I’ve been covering all sorts of Devils, Huskies, Gore Rangers and Saints longer than you’ve been alive, I would like to leave you with some wisdom as you turn your tassels and stride confidently into the future.
The first bit of advice is not to push the buttons of your immediate supervisor — like the head of the copy desk — by using a despised turn of phrase such as turning your tassels and stride confidently into the future, but whoops.
You are adults now
Yes, you have eagerly anticipated this moment. You are going off on your own and you get to do what you want without having Mom or Dad nagging you about this and that.
This is what we call a Catch-22, people. Freedom is awesome, but it comes with responsibilities. And this is why your parents, while proud, are absolutely terrified because while you may be 6-foot-something and 200 pounds or 5-foot-something and I’m-not going-speculate-on-weight, you are always going to be their little baby boy or girl.
Trust me, I have been long gone from San Francisco for 20-plus years, and my mom is worried every day about her tiny defenseless son, and wants to confront every reader who has a negative thing to say about my work.
In fairness, your parents’ fear is not without foundation.
When you go to school, it’s up to you. No one is forcing you to go to class. No one is there to wake you up. You’ve got to handle your own finances, juggle free time with homework, make sure you get your meals and do your own laundry — essentially all the things you’re parents were doing for you.
Please remember the reason that you’ve graduated high school, which is to go to college. Don’t forget the crucial word in that sentence — college — as in, go to class. You or your parents are paying for it. You may be going into debt to do so, so don’t forget to go to class, pay attention and do your work.
Of course, there will be extra-curricular activities and you’re pumped. I gather that quarters are out of vogue and that pingpong balls are in with regard to drinking games.
Yes, you are going to go to parties where there is a lot of alcohol or pot, and perhaps, you will try one or the other or both. (Tequila poppers and pot did not end well for me my freshman year. Just a word of warning.)
The first rule here is keep it on campus, people. Don’t go near a car. Don’t get in a car even though the driver “seems fine.” One sip or one toke, and there are no vehicles in your future. Don’t even think of a car. (This is the No. 1 nightmare scenario for your proud, but terrified parents.)
Rule No. 2 is moderation, which is really the key to just about everything. From my experience, everyone overdoes it at least once during freshman year and ends up worshiping the porcelain goddess. Fine. Don’t make it a habit.
Yes, have a cold one at a party, but, again, remember the reason you are there — to go to class and study.
How to say this in the newspaper?
When you go to the bathroom, sit down and do your business, contrary to what you may have been told, your stuff does stink.
You are not perfect, even though you have grown up here in Happy Valley at 8,000 or so feet with me documenting your brilliance every step of the way. You will screw up. You will fail, even if you’re working your tail off. You may have cruised through high school, but it’s high school.
College is different and tougher.
You’re not going to like it at the time, but failure is important, and it’s going to be a theme of your life. How you deal with it is going to be the measure of you not only in college, but in life.
You may be starting with one major in mind, and end up in another field of study. Deal with it. You’re allowed to feel bad for yourself for about 15 minutes, and then get back after it.
And, when in doubt, keep going to class and keep studying.
I totally understand going to a school within Colorado — CU, CSU, UNC Mines, Western, Mesa and Fort Lewis are great schools and the concept of in-state tuition is not lost on me or your parents in this day and age.
That said, please don’t end up rooming with three of the people with whom you went to high school. The whole point of this exercise — aside from going to class and studying, please don’t forget those — is doing something different.
Meet new people. Having grown up in a ski resort, meet people from different places. I’ve said this before, but while you think growing up here is normal, it isn’t. You’re going to be the weird one for having grown up in a resort town.
Get to know people with different economic, financial, ethnic, religious and political backgrounds than yours. Take classes outside of your course of study. On the STEM track? Take an art-history or poetry class. Liberal-arts major? Huzzah and take a computer class.
Do things you can’t do here — such as go to museums, concerts and lectures. If you don’t like sports, go to a football game, just for the experience. (My father hated sports, but went to Yale for seven years between undergraduate and law school and just enjoyed the atmosphere of college football — and beating Harvard.)
Sports fans, go to a poetry slam.
College is meant to stimulate the mind. When in doubt — go to class and study — and do something different. Doing something that’s out of the norm is the point.
And in conclusion …
Don’t forget to go to class and study. Despite all of the admonitions, you’re going to do fine.