The Graduate: Ode to a New Semester

The students gather to and fro
A vibrant quivering mass
Their thoughts are laden, heavy things
Of textbooks, schedules, and a new U-Pass

Amid the crowds and chaos
A lowly figure sneers
“Hark!” He cries, commandingly
“I’ve a tale of warning for your ears”

But few will pay him heed, indeed –
Most near him turn away
Their busy lives having better things
With which to occupy their day

“Confound it!” Thinks he, frustratedly
“If only they knew my story
Perhaps my sad and woeful fate
Could be avoided! How I worry…”

This desperate, sunken, piteous man
Was here not long ago, you see
A student, with naught a care at all
Save for finishing his degree

The Graduate, he calls himself
With spite and scorn and tone
“I thought that getting this degree
Would pave my future on its own!”

“Such a fool I was, to believe such trash
That I hadn’t even tried
To  gain the skills and experience
I’d need for job’s to which I applied”

“If only I had volunteered,” he lamented
“Or at least worked somewhere part-time
Then maybe I’d be employable
And you wouldn’t be subject to my rhyme”

“Or maybe had I done a co-op
Or some other experiential education
Instead of pestering students today
I could be on a paid vacation”

But almost without his notice
An audience round him had drawn near
And suddenly The Graduate saw
Inside their hearts a quickly growing fear

“Alas!” He cried, “it’s not too late for ye
Don’t stop at courses, labs, and reading.
No, take your learning elsewhere
Take action! Do new things! Try leading!”

Soon, so many gathered near him
That he felt a strange new power
“I can help you, naive undergrads
In this, my finest hour”

He told them of his costly mistakes
And at the end, knew they had learned.
The Graduate stepped down, retreating
To the peaceful quiet he had earned

*Cross-posted at the Career Services Informer.

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