Before I begin, I’d like to give a shoutout to
Your residential college
Varsity sport
Off­-campus housemates
Debate team
Musical ensemble
Greek entourage
Radio show co­-hosts
Online editor
English 120 section
Cultural center crew
Pre­-orientation program
Lab partner
Dining hall acquaintance
Shoutout to the last four years
Shoutout to the “Experience” section of your resume
And to your real experiences
The late night revelry, Wenzels and booze
The all­-nighters, like carrying a cross to 6AM
Whispers over poorly made ethnic dishes in the dining hall
About how much you hate poorly made ethnic dishes
(Shoutout to chicken tenders, though)
Shoutout to classes that made you grip your hair and wonder
How you’ll ever learn everything about
This historical period or developing nation or literary slash political movement
‘Cause that’s all you wanna do from now until The End
Shoutout to your opinion editorials—and to the comments section
Shoutout to the night you changed clothes three times before deciding your outfit said
“Toad’s”
Shoutout to every Woad’s of senior year
Shoutout to the swugs—are we still using that word? 
Or have we finally emerged from burnout—phoenixlike—as women?
Shoutout to your friends from home—and Harvard
Shoutout to your extended family seated at the back
Shoutout to your freshman advisor (Whatever happened to that guy?)
Shoutout to all your glorious consensual relationships
Shoutout to your de-­tagged Facebook photos
Shoutout to your grades
Whether they adorn your resume like gold leaf or hang burden from your neck
Because today, you are graduating from Yale
Anybody who’s got something to say about that can take a second look at
The “A” in your diploma
Shoutout to your rearview memories
Failures, in retrospect, may appear closer than they are
So gas pedal forward
Shoutout to your future
Shoutout to the uncertainty fermenting in the pit of your stomach
Remember that what you do next year is what you do next year
Do not close-­read; this isn’t English seminar
This is just two words
This is just 365 days
You have already lived so much more than that
Remember—it doesn’t have to be easy
It doesn’t have to be “successful”
The only rule from now on is that you keep passion pumping through you like adrenaline
So shoutout to your certainty
Shoutout to your life dreams metamorphosing into fact
Shoutout to getting here, to this plastic white folding chair
Shoutout to your thesis, to your last recital, to your final critique
Shoutout to the ones who did this before us
Who put on these robes, and took them off, and survived
Shoutout to the ones who aren’t here
The ones we lost, to leaves of absence, to permanent leaves of absence
Shoutout to fall leaves
To the colors this Elm City wears at the beginning of each year
To the phenomenon of dying trees marking new beginnings
Shoutout to our last fall semester
Shoutout to the spring
Shoutout to the Yale Alumni Association
Shoutout to reunions, for lunch in the City, for the Game, for old times’ sake
Shoutout to a society of friends with no expiration date
Shoutout to this view
To this vision of youth and energy
To the laurels firmly crowning your heads
Shoutout to you, the class of 2014