Mark Washburn

Advice to grads of 2015

Graduation, spring’s traditional celebration of achievement. Diedra Laird -
Graduation, spring’s traditional celebration of achievement. Diedra Laird -

It is once again my pleasure to address the graduating class. There is no need for any of you to stop staring hypnotically at your phone. You can follow what’s about to happen at hash-tag “Like, sooooo boring.”

As is our tradition, I will now tell you all the secrets to life while you text with friends about that party last night.

To get rich without hard work, simply play the lottery 13 million times.

​Inside every old person is a fossilized teenager who knows exactly what you’re up to.

People who go around snarling that life isn’t fair are usually the same ones in charge of enforcing the policy.

Recognize there are certain unpleasant tasks that you can spend five minutes doing today, or spend all day tomorrow explaining why you didn’t.



When shopping for a boss, look for one that talks with employees, not one who talks to them.

All that stupid stuff you did​ up until now​, you get a pass on that. But no more, so knock it off.

It’s time you knew the truth: Bathrooms do not clean themselves, nor does laundry crawl on its own to the washing machine.

No matter how brilliant your idea is, someone in the meeting will immediately point out there is no money in the budget for it.

Make dreams come true. Invent flying cars.

It’s no longer a sign of paranoia to conduct yourself as though a camera somewhere is always watching.

If you want to be forever memorable, you can either use Jedi mind tricks or you can send a hand-written thank-you note.

When the recording says, “Your call is important to us,” that means they really don’t want to hear from you.​

Learn to do one trick that no one else knows and perform it around others unexpectedly. Like parallel parking.

If you get called into a staff meeting and they tell you that the company is interested in great ideas from its treasured employees to improve performance, that means the company is in a death spiral.

Never purchase a small electronic device containing the sum knowledge of all mankind since the dawn of civilization without paying for the service warranty.

Ants and rodents are nature’s way of saying you need to clean the kitchen.

Anyone who tells you the app is “user friendly” is clearly getting paid to lie.

Please tell your great-grandchildren that thanks to the wisdom of your elders, they’ll only have to pay tolls on I-77 for a few more years.

That’s it. You now get the keys to the planet. It’s all yours.

I’m afraid it’s a fixer-upper. Please clean it up, and make it shine. It’s imperative you do better than we did.

Washburn: 704-358-5007;

Twitter: @WashburnChObs.