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The Graduation Speech I Will Never Be Asked To Give

Posted by James Aspell | May 12, 2023 | 0 Comments

Ladies and gentlemen, faculty, esteemed guests, and most importantly, graduates! Congratulations on this momentous occasion! Today marks the end of your academic journey and the beginning of your quest for success, which, if I may add, may not always come with a roadmap or a GPS.

As we gather here, surrounded by these hallowed halls of academia, it's important to remember that this college has prepared you well for the real world. I mean, how many of you have written a 10-page paper the night before it's due? Or mastered the art of "bullshitting" your way through a discussion section? Well, my friends, those are skills that'll surely come in handy when navigating the unpredictable waters of adulthood.

Now, let's address the elephant in the room. Your parents are sitting there, beaming with pride, believing that after years of late-night cramming and sacrificing their sanity, you are all guaranteed a one-way ticket to success. Well, guess what? Life doesn't come with a money-back guarantee! Sorry to burst your bubble, parents.

But fear not, graduates! Instead of worrying about life's uncertainties, embrace the adventure that lies ahead. Remember, when you were little, the playground was your kingdom, and you conquered every twisty slide, every wobbly swing, and even the dreaded monkey bars (okay, maybe not the monkey bars, those were scary). You took chances, explored, and laughed in the face of scraped knees and awkward falls.

Well, my dear graduates, it's time to recapture that fearless spirit! College has equipped you with knowledge, but it's your curiosity, your passion, and your willingness to embrace failure that will take you to new heights. So, go ahead and take that job in a different city, even if it means surviving on ramen noodles for a while. Pursue that crazy business idea you've been tinkering with in your dorm room. Launch that YouTube channel where you demonstrate questionable cooking skills. Take the leap, because, let's face it, life is too short to play it safe all the time.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking, "But what if I fail?" Well, let me tell you a secret: failure isn't the end of the world; it's just a stepping stone to success. Thomas Edison famously said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." So, go out there and find your 10,000 ways that won't work! Embrace failure, learn from it, and keep moving forward. The world needs your unique perspectives, your creative solutions, and your refusal to be defined by setbacks.

Remember, life is not a linear path. It's more like one of those spaghetti junctions where you have to navigate through a maze of onramps, offramps, and occasional roadblocks. You may find yourself on detours you never expected, but trust me, some of life's greatest adventures are found on those winding roads.

As you embark on this journey, surround yourself with people who challenge you, inspire you, and make you laugh so hard that milk shoots out of your nose (if you're into that kind of thing). Build a network of fellow adventurers who will pick you up when you stumble, and cheer you on when you succeed. And if they happen to bring pizza to the party, even better!

In conclusion, my fellow graduates, be unafraid to take chances, try new opportunities, and explore your passions. The world is waiting for your brilliance, your audacity, and your ability to find joy in the unexpected. Life is an adventure, and you have your very own choose-your-own-ending book in your hands. So, let the pages unfold with excitement, laughter, and maybe a few plot twists along the way. 

Congratulations, Class of 2023! You are ready to conquer the world with your unique talents, boundless potential, and the courage to chase your dreams. So, go forth, be fearless, and let your light shine bright!

Thank you, and let's celebrate this incredible milestone together!

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


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