To whom it may concern, salutations

I always forget how serious everything is supposed to be once you grow up. 

Some of you may think it’s time to do exactly that — grow up. Or you’re convinced that once you get your first “real job” you’ll get a grasp of what’s actually happening in the world — and maybe some things will start to make sense. I’ve lived long enough to realize none of those things are true. 

I’m 28 years old and, despite my rapidly advancing years, my dwindling eyesight and my predilection for calling young people “rapscallions,” I’m hoping I’ll never “grow up.” Being young affords you the luxury of seeking out whatever you don’t know and learning as much as you can, but keep in mind: you’ll never learn everything. 

What you will learn is how to temper your expectations, both from yourself and from others. It’s important to remember that people are hypocrites — most expect the best out of others, while forgiving themselves their own shortcomings. If you don’t believe me, remember this the next time you fly into a fit of road-rage.

If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to steal someone else’s wisdom and pawn it off as my own. Kurt Vonnegut said this: 

“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies: God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” 

Many of you are graduating soon. Most of you reading this are just now coming to the realization that you have no idea what you’re supposed to do. So, on behalf of everyone past the age of 25 —

Welcome to the club. 

It’s a club full of all kinds of people — disappointed idealists, manic depressives, hopeless altruists. Being in this club has its perks, but along with it comes a lot of heartbreak. 

I’m sure a lot of you think this wide world is full of promise and bright horizons. I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong, but I will say this: 

This isn’t the beginning, the middle or the end. This is simply something you will remember, some day, when you’re older — and in the end, we’re all just trying to do the best we can.

Garrett Ammesmaki is a news editor at The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected]