Words of Advice to the Recent College Graduate

by Joel Kravitz


I attended my nephew’s college graduation a while ago where the speaker was The Poet Laureate of the United States. He gave a less than inspiring speech, quoting an obscure Polish poet and not offering any words of wisdom that a college graduate would benefit from. However, he did inspire me to write this poem for my nephew.

Words Of Advice To The Recent College Graduate

Surviving in the real world
Is truly no easy trick
If you want some poetic advice,
Follow the words of wisdom from Mick..

“You can’t always get what you want.”
The most important lesson to be learned.
It counter balances unrealistic dreams
And teaches Success is not easily earned.

You can graduate Magna Cum Laude
But you won’t soar above and beyond
If you don’t have a lick of street smarts
And don’t know when you’re getting conned.

Unlike teachers, bosses aren’t enlightened.
Your ideas will be summarily rejected..
And as far as expectations go…
You can expect the unexpected.

When you’re climbing the corporate ladder
And the competitive pressure mounts
You better know how to pucker up….
Selective butt kissing counts.

You should believe none of what you hear
And skeptically half of what you see.
When something seems too good to be true…
It’s most likely the way it will be.

But you also need to know that hard work counts.
It is the real means to the end.
And resourcefulness and self-confidence
Are the things on which you should depend.

Life comes at you fast and throws nasty curves.
It ain’t all rainbows and moon beams.
But you have to always believe in yourself
And never give up on your dreams.


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