SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 28, 2013

Column: A letter to the graduating class of 2013

I am what is called a non-traditional student. My roles as wife and mother made me a phantom on campus; I might have trudged along to the same classes, but I was not truly part of the Class of 2013 in many meaningful ways. I don’t know many of you. I never lived in the dorms with you, or shared supper with you. I’ve never taken a fitness class with you; or gone to a bar with you. I’ve been on campus past three o’clock only three times in as many years. I’m older than the average college student. I am unable to remind you of the good times we all had at that one party, or how awesome it was when the Vikings won that game, but I can tell you a little about society as I’ve experienced it and encourage you to change the community we all share.

The world has counted you out. They’ve accused you of being heartless, selfish, and socially unaware. They question your ability to succeed. As I’m sure you’ve heard, yours is one of the first generations predicted to do less well than your parents. To many of the world’s most powerful people and companies, you are little more than a consumer, and in some cases, a product. Not much is expected of you. As long as you continue to buy the next new iProduct, log on to the next social network, and buy the latest pair of fashionable sheepskin boots, the world will continue to spin exactly as it has for most of your lives. Some of you have earned this distinction. You’ve made it through your university years fueled by Starbucks and SparkNotes. Many of you, like me, have not imagined a single, original thought, not only in all your years at school, but in all your years combined. Instead, you’ve accepted the conclusions handed to you by your parents, professors, and peers, no matter how wrong you might think they are.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium