Thank you, Mr. Sullivan.
Good evening alumni, staff, and students.
Honestly, I never saw myself stepping back into this building. I never saw a reason to. I remember my time here vividly and there aren’t many happy memories for me to share with you all. But, I think you’ve heard enough of that anyway. My story is different. However, it’s just as poignant.
I wasn’t a stand-out student. I wasn’t an athlete. I was easily one of the most forgettable people to ever stroll these hallways. I was a ghost by choice. I hated this place. I hated my classmates. I hated the homework and tests. The teachers sucked by association. If my father wouldn’t have driven me every day, I would’ve been expelled for truancy. There’s no doubt in my mind.
Not what you’ve heard from others who have graced this podium before, right?
I’m going to shoot it to you straight. This place blows. Those of you who feel that way are not alone. There’s nothing wrong with you. Allow me to explain.
Firstly, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you all that there aren’t any girls here. And I will give credit where it’s due – my fascination with Mrs. Haren’s tremendous breasts got me through English class and the voluptuous posterior of the lunch-lady who worked the register pleased me to no end. Either way, you’ll spend most of your time surrounded by immature teenage guys. Everywhere you look in this place, there’s a pair of testicles looking back at you. It sucks.
I remember standing outside after dismissal and two women strolled by with a carriage in tow. They gazed at me awkwardly and began muttering among themselves. I heard something to the effect of, “No. He’s not gay. My man used to go to an all-boys school.”
The selling point is that the lack of women will set up a better scholastic environment making it easier to focus on studies. My parents fell for that line. But, it’s bullshit, anyway. School should prepare you for life. And in life, there are way more women than men. Look it up. You’ll have to take my word for it until then because the nightlife scene will abundantly show you otherwise. Even still, you’ll need to know how to speak and perform in front of women. I left this place with no idea how to do so. I lost all ability to relate to them since they were never around. My life outside of school didn’t grant me the opportunity. I relied on school for more than book smarts. It was my only way into the social scene. An all-boys school robbed me of that necessity. Hence, I became one of those Darwinian guys who couldn’t have a female friend he wasn’t engrossed by the thought of plowing. These characteristics make it very easy to unintentionally ostracize the fairer sex. So, the next four years were utterly terrible in that regard.
Then, there’s the preparation for college. Granted, I didn’t excite any of my teachers into informing me on the essentials of college life. I was a C- student who coasted through everything. Everything. Why waste time talking to a kid who wasn’t paying attention?
But, I remember the lectures and speeches we all sat through. Principal Sullivan over here pushed the Ivy League colleges in our face. According to him, SUNY and CUNY schools were inferior. I’m here to tell you after four years in college and a bulging debt of $50,000, he’s full of shit. It just makes him look like that much more of a principal if a higher percentage of his students enroll in expensive, fluffy institutions. I’m sure you’ve heard his numbers during orientation. “This many were accepted here, this many get accepted here. Graduation rate is such and such…”
I’ve met people who have gone to college and graduated free of debt. Scholarships and grants were more than enough to cover the cost. They were high-school underachievers just like me. However, I took out multiple loans each semester for four years at a private college and didn’t even graduate. So, don’t listen to him. He doesn’t give a fuck about you. Go to a college that won’t burden you for the rest of your life and take advantage of the extracurricular activities and connections which can help you land that coveted post-graduate job. It isn’t rocket science. I wish someone explained that notion to me while I was here.
These four years greatly affect your future. I hope I’ve shared all the crucial information you need to leave this place with a better sense of the man you want to become. I didn’t. This place threw me off track. But, there’s a silver lining in every cloud. And I think this is the reason.