The marquee name for the many virtual commencement speeches going on this month (for free!) is former president Barack Obama, who, on Saturday, learned how to handle a tripod and did double duty with his words of wisdom for the graduates: He pencilled in a keynote for historically black colleges and universities in the afternoon, and in the evening, gave all those hormonal youths his attention. As part of “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” Obama addressed the agitation seniors must be feeling by having their last few months of school be virtual, despite the recent trend of Zoom proms being not totally terrible. “As much as I’m sure you love your parents,” he said, “I’ll bet that being stuck at home with them and playing board games or watching Tiger King on TV is not exactly how you envisioned the last few months of your senior year.”
But enough about if that lady killed her husband and fed him to the tigers or not. You came here for wisdom, and we think Obama delivered on that:
“It’s also pulled the curtain back on another hard truth, something that we all have to eventually accept once our childhood comes to and end. All of those adults who you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing? Turns out, they don’t have all the answers. A lot of them aren’t even asking the right questions. So, if the world is going to get better, it’s going to be up to you. That realization may be kind of intimating, but I hope it’s also inspiring.”
“You’re going to have to grow up faster than some generations,” he added to the class of 2020. “This is your generation’s world to shape.” No pressure.