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Advice to the Ohio State graduating class of 2015

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Some simple advice as another class of Buckeyes enter the real world.

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First of all, congratulations. What've you've achieved is a significant accomplishment you should be very proud of. A degree from Ohio State University - be it whatever path you took to get here - takes commitment, sacrifice, and hard work (even if you missed a few 9 AM classes and recitations along the way.)

You're lucky enough to come along at a great time for Ohio State. You've been part of a football national championship, gotten to enjoy the hustle of Aaron Craft, continued to raise the academic standing of the university, and have the privilege of having the only two-time Heisman winner in history as your commencement speaker.

For a good many of you the past four years (or five...maybe six?) were the best time of your life. I'm not going to lie to you and say you're wrong. If you were lucky enough to spend four undergraduate years in Columbus and took advantage of even a fraction of the opportunities and advantages it can off then yes - the real world is going to hit you like a ton of bricks.

So in an effort to mitigate some of that pain, let me offer you - one Buckeye alum to another - some advice and suggestions to ease the transition.

The first step is understanding your new surroundings, whether they be Columbus or some far off distant land.

Not everyone realizes that Saturdays are devoted to college football.

I know it's hard to believe, but I'm going burst your bubble. There are places and people that do not consider Saturday a holy day reserved exclusively for college football. There are even people who think NFL Sundays are more entertaining. You'll find this heavily concentrated in older east coast cities and metropolitan centers.

Forgive their ignorance - they haven't had the advantages you've had. Maybe they went to a small liberal arts school or their football team was lousy, so they'll compensate by saying they prefer the tailgate to the game or college football doesn't matter outside the Big Ten or SEC. Despite your best efforts, you may never ever be able to convert these people. They are a lost cause.

In a few years your friends, both new and old, will start getting engaged and planning weddings. Some of these people will have the audacity to schedule a wedding on a fall Saturday. I advise you to remove these people from your life immediately. You'll be better off for it.

Bar tabs will get expensive.

Maybe you think know this now and have already learned this lesson. Trust me, that's just youthful naivety.

Bars understand their clientele. Out-R-Inn or Too's would have been out of business long ago if they failed to identify their patrons are poor college students with limited income. You've benefited from this in savings passed on directly to you via mug night or $2 Tuesdays, but nothing stands out quite so much at a campus bar as a 25 year old trying to blend into the college scene.

So you'll need to adapt and head to bars filled with other young professionals. And once you're there you'll find out booze gets expensive.  Five dollar Miller Lite bottles will become your safety drink. Happy hours are your new best friend.

This concept applies to gameday too. Try to make it back to at least one OSU home game a year - it will help you feel young, but understand your days of pre-game tailgates at houses are done. Get aquatinted with Varsity Club. This is where you belong now.

Your first job is probably going to suck.

Maybe you're lucky enough to have already landed a gig, but to the majority of you who haven't, you're still fine.

The reality is your major doesn't mean a whole lot. You're Political Science degree does not guarantee you a spot as a legislative aide, but it can help you land a decent starting job at Nationwide or Chase.

Your first post-college job can be a confusing time in your life. You'll probably think you're not making nearly as much money as you deserve, but you'll also have more disposable income than you've ever had in your life. Keep cashing checks and keep your expenses low and it will work out fine.

Don't like your job? Find a new one - this is how you create a career.

And if you're lucky enough to do something you love and get paid for it? Well, congratulations - you've got the system beat.

Ohio State is never far away.

This is probably the best and most important thing you can learn. Careers, family, and travel can take you thousands of miles from OSU, but it's never that far away. You win with people.

That's one of the great benefits of this university. With the largest alumni association in the country, you can always find something to answer your "OH" with an "IO."

Your connection to Ohio State is a great source of pride - and it is pride, not obnoxiousness. Cultivate that pride.

Former university president E. Gordon Gee call this place, "The University of the American Dream." It served as a marketing campaign for donations (you'll learn all about those soon), but it's absolutely true.

The feeling of graduating, seeing this window of time close, and realizing 90% of your friends no longer live between Lane and Chittenden is overwhelming, but don't worry.

You share a bond in someway and somehow with everyone who has ever earned a diploma from The Ohio State University. And on some level you'll feel like these are the only people in the world who can understand the uniqueness of this place. Your friends will scatter and you'll do your best to keep in touch, but when it seems impossible and doubt creeps in your mind trust that Carmen Ohio has all the lessons you'll ever need:

Time and change will surely show how firm thy friendship OHIO.