“When it comes to scented candles, you really need to watch it.”
That was one piece of advice humorist and award-winning author David Sedaris gave the Oberlin College Class of 2018 Monday morning at commencement.
The first few years after college could be the ones you’ll remember on your death bed, he told graduates — as long as they don’t rush into anything, don’t become an adult quite yet, don’t move back to their hometown, and especially don’t move back in with their parents, he emphasized.
That advice isn’t very practical for a 22-years-old owing $128,000, said Sedaris.
“I’m not sure your generation has the luxury of drifting across the globe, trying this for a little and then that. How do you find yourself when before you’ve even started, you’ve found yourself in debt?” he asked.
More advice following in satirical form:
• “If you can’t afford Trudon or Diptyque, then you’ll just have to go without scented candles.”
• “Choose one thing to be terribly terribly offended by. This, as opposed to the dozens or possibly hundreds that many of you are currently juggling.” It’s worth noting that Sedaris shared a joke about Catholic clergy that left some audience members laughing nervously. One man took offense at the one-liner and interrupted the conferring of degrees to shout profanities at Sedaris and demand and apology.
• “Stand up for what you believe in, as long as I believe in the same thing. Those of you who’d like to ban assault rifles, I am behind you 100 percent. Take the front lines, give it your all, and don’t back down until you win.”
• “Be yourself, unless yourself is an a—hole.”
• “Always have a few jokes up your sleeve. They come in handy at casual get-togethers and probably don’t hurt at job interviews either, depending on what position you’re applying for.”
The last piece of advice Sedaris gave is one he said very few will take: Write thank you letters. “People like doing things for people who are grateful,” he said.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.