At graduation ceremonies I have always asked myself why the speakers try to make non-conclusive points about the college time and the usefulness of college. I guess it is because people tend to romanticize their memories of college. Below are some of the statements usually made (in bold) and what I think should be said instead.
You’ve made it!
No you didn’t. Not the graduation matters but the means that allowed you to get there and what you will use them for!
You had a difficult time and achieved something!
No you didn’t. College is easy, even if you’re studying until 2am in the morning for a few months every day. College is easy because it lacks the uncertainty that governs most of what is outside of college!
You’re ready for the world!
No you aren’t and you shouldn’t believe anybody is. Being prepared or ready for “the world” is not something you should aim for either. Being curious and open minded is what you should go for instead! This will prepare you to see things you didn’t expect to find, allow you to be nimble and react quickly to change!
You’re experts (for postgraduates)!
Most of the specific details you’ve learned you will forget the day after the ceremony party anyway! Moreover, you will probably change your career path at least once rendering what you’ve learned useless. What matters is the scientific thinking that you should’ve learned and the curiosity and suprises that college gave you by proving that you’re intuition is often wrong and so are experts.