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Advice for the Class of 2022 in this crowdsourced commencement speech

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Each year, we ask for the public’s help in providing advice to graduates. Folks offer one or two lines of wisdom and we assemble some of the best into a crowdsourced commencement speech. Here is this year’s version.

To the Class of 2022:

Make yourself proud.

Make your mother and father proud.

You know what your best effort truly means; do it, every time, and then go to bed satisfied.

If you let fear of failure stop you from going forward in any task, you will never succeed. Failure is not fatal. Fail spectacularly.

You're part of something bigger than yourself, and it's only together that we can make the world better. Back somebody up, instead of just standing around.

The world needs you to be who you are, not what anyone else expects or wants you to be. Being your authentic self gives others the permission to do the same.

You don’t have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. What do you want to do next? And does it bring you joy? This is how you find your mission.

Jobs come and go, but you will live with yourself forever. Use all of your vacation days every year.

Mix in a salad because acid reflux is real.

Smile. Have fun. Your attitude will be your greatest asset.

When you buy a home, wear black socks when you mow the lawn. Your dad did this for a reason. Black socks don't stain green from the grass. White socks do. You mocked your father as a child, but he is the keeper of ancient yard-work wisdom.

Ditch your car and walk or bicycle. It's healthy, environmentally sound, and will save you a lot of money. Go for a walk outside every day.

Don't take your health for granted. Go to the dentist and find a primary care doctor. Everyone needs a primary care physician.

Always wear pants while Zooming.

Be gentle with yourself; sometimes good enough is good enough and not worth sacrificing your mental health.

"I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer, and often the smartest one.

Naps are more important than preparation.

Happiness comes from service. Volunteering is good for your soul.

COVID has made you resilient, life will make you unique. Find the people you wouldn't mind having to quarantine with in the next pandemic. Those are your people!

Stay in touch with the friends you have made; your mutual support will see each other through difficult times.

Vote. Your vote is a choice for the kind of city, nation, world you want to live in, so don't leave your fate to others.

Drink more water. Remember to floss. Zip up your coat. Duck!

It’s time to accept (the band) Phish as your lord and savior.

“No” is a temporary condition. "No" is the first step on the road to "yes."

Say “yes” as often as possible. Make your default answer, “yes.”

Want less.

Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

Be kind to the wait staff.

Kindness and hard work get you farther than any letters after your name.

Remember to always make time to visit older relatives or neighbors and give them a hand.

Be like your dog: Play some, walk some, take naps, greet friends with joy, and smell things before you lick things.

A thousand little decisions shape your life more than a single “big” decision ever will. Focus on making the right little decisions, and the big ones tend to make themselves.

Never ever throw out the first number when negotiating salary. Ever!

Don’t be afraid of unexpected twists in your path. Embrace adventure. There will be times when a cold tile bathroom floor feels great on your face.

Don’t blink!

Don’t say, “Absolutely!” when all you should say is, “I think so.”

Don’t forget to save.

Focus. Breathe; it's metaphysically important, and also if you stop, you die.

Don’t trust any politician. They are only going to tell you what you want to hear!

Don’t fall for fake news, always seek out the truth

Take it from me, don't spend your life on Twitter.

Don't let anyone rob you of your joy!

Don’t follow somebody’s dream.

Don't eat yellow snow.

Never let go of childlike joyfulness - especially the ability to laugh at your own and other people's silliness.

Take everything you’ve learned and throw it out the window. Then go outside and pick it up and maybe you’ll have learned to not throw things out the window.

Mike is the executive editor of Ideastream Public Media.