15. toukokuuta 2009

If all goes well, as mysterious are the ways of the University, this June I will be completing my Bachelor`s degree. I therefore turned to a delightful peace of writing, by another columnist, a real columnist. A woman with as funny a surname as mine, called Mary Schmich, who works for the Chicago News Tribune. In 1997, when I hadn`t even hit puberty, she wrote a fictional graduation speech which goes by the name of ”Wear Sunscreen”. It will probably be one of the most entertaining Google searches you will ever conduct. Mary Schmich`s main advice to the young and eager graduate is that only the benefits of sunscreen have been scientifically proven. All else in life is uncertain. Then she talks at length about singing and dancing and loving your own body.
Like Mary Schmich, I doubt I will ever be asked to give a valedictorian speech. For one thing, that is a very American tradition, for another, I`m too lazy to ever be a valedictorian – or at least that is what I would like to think. However, much like Mary Schmich, I do write a column and in a student newspaper no less.

So Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 2009, do what you wish with the sunscreen.
You live in Finland. The chances of your skin getting sun-damaged in the annual 4 days of summer are as high as a Malaysian student`s of getting frostbite.
While you`re at it, forget all this nonsense about singing and dancing like nobody`s watching. Some people are not meant to be heard singing nor stampede ungainly through the dancing crowds. If you are one of those people, like me, don`t feel pressured by the inevitable feng shui crazed friend who will tell you the only way to enjoy life is by yelping at the top of your lungs. I find avoiding public humiliation much more enjoyable. Focus your time and energy on things you can actually do. It`s been proven human beings derive great pleasure from doing things they are better at than other people, preferably in the presence of those people.

Be very nice to your friends, because chances are they are extraordinary. If you do not believe me, spend half an hour YouTube surfing and assess the average intelligence of the average young adult. If you find your friends on YouTube, maybe you should make new ones.
We are not all miracles of life as pure and as unique as snowflakes. Statistically speaking, there are probably millions, or tens of millions of people around the globe who are smarter or better looking than you are, or both. There is an entire country of people out there who are superior to you. Luckily, statistics – apart from also being the most boring subject I ever took – do not mean anything.
You will not meet a significant number of these people in your life. The YouTube folks greatly dilute the pool. Therefore, when it matters, assume you are the best man/woman for the job, no matter what it is. Chances are you will be. If you do not assume that, why are you even applying in the first place?
And do good. We all know exactly what that means and why we should do that.

Irina Subulica

The writer is a Romanian degree student who loves reading politics as much as she loves reading Harry Potter.