Nathan's column: A quick word of adviceIt has become something of a tradition, this attempt I make each year to impart a little wisdom to another class of graduating seniors.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
It has become something of a tradition, this attempt I make each year to impart a little wisdom to another class of graduating seniors. I don’t do it because there is an overwhelming demand. Far from it. I don’t believe anyone has ever actually asked for my advice on the best way to tackle life post-high school.
People ask me for advice about buying bikes, or about choosing a restaurant. But I get about as many people asking me how to develop a life plan as ask LeBron James about handling pressure situations.
I try not to let that bother me, but you start to notice a pattern. Nobody thinks I have wisdom to offer? Nobody will listen when I urge them to invest in Best Buy? To share their passwords and social security numbers? To run with scissors?
Fine. It’s their loss.
I don’t write this column every year because I’m convinced I have any particularly life-altering insight, either. I don’t know the key to eternal happiness. I’d be happy with a few fewer school board meetings.
In the end, I do it for the same reason most people do most things: because I can.
And maybe that’s the best message of all for this new crop of graduates. Sometimes, “Because I can” is all the reason you really need to do something.
It doesn’t apply in all situations, obviously. You can steal things from a convenience store when a clerk isn’t looking, but you probably shouldn’t. You can use your college roommate’s toiletries without permission, but that’s not the way to build dorm-room harmony. You can watch whatever version of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette or Famous Person Pretends To Find Love happens to be currently airing, but, I mean, really?
Things won’t always turn out well if you follow this advice, either. Sometimes, doing something just because you can leads to dangerous or embarrassing situations. Consider, for example, the Presidential campaign of Tim Pawlenty.
Other times, though, “just because” is all the reason you need to get yourself into some adventures you will remember for the rest of your life. Why do people climb mountains? Because they’re there. Why do people run marathons? To say they’ve done it. Why do people eat at Taco Bell? Because they hate their digestive systems, probably. But also because it’s the only place anyone bothered to take the extra step of making your taco shell out of an actual snack chip. And if that isn’t one of the great things about America, I don’t know what is.
There is a big world out there beyond high school, and this is the part of your life where you really start to figure it out. Or where you pretend to figure it out and put pretentious posters on your wall and smoke clove cigarettes.
For many of you, it is also the part when you eat a lot of pizza and watched Saved By the Bell reruns, but sometimes the two things go hand in hand. Screech is full of wisdom.
There will be a lot of serious thought and a lot of frivolous action. Find the right balance between the two and you will have a pretty good start on things.
And, if you’re lucky, an awesome Screech poster.