“College is a holiday from history, during which you have few real responsibilities—that is, the kind you can’t talk your way out of. After four years of it, you get to be a little spoiled. Because when you spend all our time thinking about mortgage-backed securities or the Arab Spring, you forget that eventually, you have to pay the rent. You start to think you don’t have time for the little things. You start to think you’re above them.
Thankfully, some real-world experience will teach you otherwise. [Life] isn’t just about thinking big ideas and making big moves. It’s also about paying the bills and washing the dishes. It’s about being responsible for yourself and cognizant of others. It’s about humility.
A brief sojourn in reality land will show you that. You’ll start sticking to a schedule and maintaining a budget. You’ll become more likely to vote Republican. Or you’ll become a lawyer. Either way, it’s a good experience, and you’ll glean more practical knowledge than that contained by the entire Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology.
So cheer up, Harvard grads-to-be. You’re about to enter adult life. You’ve got brilliance down. Now give competence a try.”