Advice to graduates: Mooch off your folks as long as you can |

Advice to graduates: Mooch off your folks as long as you can

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Fried Rice

“Why are you humming the tune to Pomp and Circumstance?” Husband-Head asked me last Sunday. “And why are you wearing a bra? What’s the occasion?”

“I’m going to a high school graduation,” I explained simply.

Husband-Head looked a little frightened.

“Oh dear God, please tell me you aren’t going to speak at it,” he said, shaking his head. “That would be awful. No, that would be tragic. Those kids would be ruined for the rest of their lives. …”

Nah, I wasn’t speaking. I was just going to cover it for the newspaper.

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But the idea made me think about possible things that I might say if I HAD been invited to speak at a graduation ceremony and how I would impart all my knowledge and wise words of advice to those just embarking on this new chapter of their lives.

“Graduates, as you leave the hallowed halls of high school, the good thing is that you will no longer need a note from your parents or have to forge their signature to explain your absence,” I would start. “From here on out, you are considered to be an adult – one that can serve in the armed forces, but cannot legally drink a beer. But in this day and age, I will caution you that you may not want to be in a hurry to be an adult just yet. Sucking your thumb and dragging around a blanket while continuing to live at home may look a lot more appealing these days than going out into the real world and actually getting a job and your own place.


Well for one, there ARE NO STINKING JOBS out there!

If you’ve read anything besides your high school newspaper – which, by the way, may be one of the only newspapers left in this country – you would know that we are in the middle of an economic crisis.

This, my dear graduates, means that you should make a point of continuing on with school and receive your BA, MBA, PhD., MD and even a law degree (god forbid) because the longer you stay in school, the longer you can sponge off your parents or the government and get loan or grant money so you don’t have to look for a job, because THERE ARE NO STINKING JOBS out there! Well, that’s not completely true. I actually saw two positions advertised in the local paper (if you can find one since nobody does home delivery anymore), looking for a CDL driver or a hospice caregiver. Not sure which one is more depressing, but hey! A job is a job, right?

What you want to make sure of in these uncertain times, is that you pick a profession that has a future – where the opportunities will grow and expand in an industry that won’t be defunct in the next five years – like, say, a job in journalism.

No, you want to go with a sound, steady profession working in … hmmm … a funeral home! Business will never die! Only the clients! And at the rate of stress with the nation’s flailing economy, they’re dropping like flies!

Or, how about a career at a medical marijuana dispensary? They’re popping up all over the place. And it’s probably a pretty safe bet that you don’t have to take a drug test to get employed by one. Which is good, because there’s probably a few of you graduating from high school that couldn’t pass a drug test right now anyway! OK, so what do you have to look forward to?

Let’s say that despite the odds, you go on to college and graduate or get a job working at your Uncle Frank’s hardware store.

Hey! It’s time for your five-year high school reunion!

This is a rather boring party because no one really looks any different and no one has done anything significant besides survive college or their fraternity/sorority without getting arrested. …

Things get a little more interesting at the 10-year reunion. Now we’re talking some thinning hair and weight gain. This is especially funny if it involves the star football quarterback or the homecoming queen. Some of your classmates will have become somewhat successful and some will still live at home with Mommy and Daddy.

Flash forward to the ol’ 25-year reunion and this one is a HOOT! Bald men, bleach blonde babes, beer bellies and boob jobs. You’ll be lucky if you can even recognize anyone at this party. …

But graduates, along the way in life you will likely fall in love, get married and have a family of your own.

And then your children will (hopefully) graduate from high school and go to college (which you will have to pay for), move back home several times and get married (which you will also have to pay for.)

And somewhere down the line, you will sit back in your easy chair with your scuffy slippers, take off your reading glasses, close your eyes and reflect back on how easy you really had it in high school. …

Heidi Rice is a columnist for the Citizen Telegram and Post Independent. Her columns runs on Thursdays in the CT and Friday in the PI. Visit her website to see more columns or to buy her book collection at

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