Mike McIntyre's Annual Crowdsourced Graduation Speech For The Class Of 2021

University of Pittsburgh graduates sit in the stands at PNC Park during the graduation ceremony for the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the School of General Studies in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in caps, gowns and rain ponchos, with three seats between each graduate, some wearing masks and some without.
University of Pittsburgh graduates sit in the stands at PNC Park during the graduation ceremony for the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the School of General Studies in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 4, 2021.[Gene J. Puskar / AP]
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Each year, I ask people on social media to share their advice for graduating seniors. This commencement address is written entirely by others, each contributing a line or two.

To the Class of 2021: 

You are the author of your life. Write the best story you can. 

Sit down and write your eulogy. Then be that person. 

Remember, you are unique – just like everyone else. 

Now that you no longer need to wear a mask to protect others, dedicate some part of your day to protecting them without a mask. 

Get the vaccine and thanks in advance for helping to keep us all healthy. 

Pick up litter when you can. Especially plastic. 

In life, you have more people rooting for you than you know, and fewer people rooting against you than you might think. 

Being nice to people is a no-cost investment that pays big dividends. 

You can choose to be anything, be kind. Wherever you go, try to be the kindest person in the room. 

Be a face of love for others. 

No matter your age, creed, race, religion or status, we all have one thing in common: Somewhere out there, someone is trying to contact you regarding your car’s warranty. 

When in doubt, hold someone’s hand. 

Be the person your dog thinks you are. 

Read every day. Always be reading at least one book. Preferably a real paper one. From the library. 

Learn to appreciate art. 

Stop at all lemonade stands. 

Drink good beer. Order a large pizza. Eat the bacon. 

Wash your hands. 

If you’re going to drive five miles per hour below the speed limit, get the hell out of the left-hand lane. 

When you hear a noise from your car, just pull over. 

Ignore anyone who tells you that change is not possible 

There's more than one right way to do most things. Be flexible and open-minded to all the possibilities. If you know your values, decision making is easy. 

Just do what you say you’re going to do, and you’re already ahead of half the people. 

Frame your background carefully on Zoom calls and choose the gallery view. That way, you can judge everyone else at the same time. 

 The value of your education depends on your actions. 

 Start saving and investing money now. Take $5 a week and invest in the stock market. 

Do what makes you happy before you do what makes you money. 

Get a passport and keep it up to date. 

Work hard at whatever you do. Nothing’s easy. If you say you can, you can. If you say you can't, you're right. 

You are more than one good idea. Be brave enough to suck at something new. Go outside the lines, at least a little.

It's okay to fail, it helps to identify what you are good at and what you shouldn't waste any time or energy pursuing. If you’re not failing, you’re not taking big enough risks. 

Failure, although it hurts, will help you with your career. Embrace it and move on. 

Own your mistakes. They are the graduate school of life. 

No one really has it all together. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s not a level playing field. 

What other people think of you is none of your business. 

Social media is not a reliable source for news. 

Leave work at work. It's not nearly as important as what is happening at home. 

Stand for justice. Stay curious.

Shake well before using.

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