So glad you could make it! It means a lot that you showed up to support me on this momentous occasion.

I, of course, mean thank you for texting me at 2:43 am, saying, “When is your graduation again?” and, “Is there a link somewhere?”

Again, so glad you could make it! Thank you for being on FaceTime while I sit in my graduation outfit in front of my laptop.

You're right, it is so cute that our outfits match. Who could have guessed that we would both choose to wear an oversized hoodie and pajama pants? Yeah, this is a different sweatshirt than the one I've been wearing for the past 76 hours. Thank you for noticing I dressed up!

Yes, I do wish everyone could witness my appearance. I need everyone I got drunk with Freshman year and then avoided to witness how gorgeous I am, munching on Cool Ranch Doritos.

You're right. It is so nice that we can eat snacks during the ceremony. Thanks to the mute button, we can munch on chips and on whatever the school president is saying. One could say that it is virtually better than the real thing.

No laugh? Okay, fine. I guess I'll try actually listening to the President's pixelated face. Yeah, I do think she is in a swivel chair.

Aww, she said it's nice to see all our “beautiful smiling faces.”

Yes, I do think I choked on a Dorito. Well, as they say, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. I think I am just going to sip some diet soda and get another chip. Yeah, okay, better.

Wait, did a tear just form in the corner of her eye? Is she really that happy to see us? Wow, okay, because I don't think she knows my name.

You're right. Maybe she's just sad at the idea that we could be the last class she sees graduate before the school collapses under a mountain of debt caused by the closing of the institution due to a worldwide pandemic. It is debt similar to the crushing load many of us graduating already had weighing down on our future—even before the economy exploded in our face.

But no, she's probably just happy. Today is a momentous occasion. And listen: she's announcing the alumnus who is going to give us an inspirational speech! Wow, look, even their pores look successful. Do you think their skin is glowy, or they're just sweating?

I'm going to eat some more Doritos.

Did they say something about two paths diverging in a wood, and us, us taking the path less traveled?

Yeah, last I checked: there is no path. My mom's house is literally at the end of a road. According to a news alert that just flashed on my phone, I might be living here until I graduate from unemployment to social security. So, no need to travel.

You're right. Maybe I should consider the speaker's point that every cloud has a silver lining.

I do have more Doritos.

And look! They're starting to call out everyone's names!

Aww, it's that guy who was in that class who I imagined I might have an epic love story with and then found out is gay. He picked such a gorgeous photo of himself to show, wow.

Ugh, they moved on to someone else.

Yeah, this is taking forever.

Wait: it's me! Ugh, why did I pick a photo where I'm wearing such a dumb-looking sweatshirt! Who wears such dumb-looking sweatshirts?

You're right. This is a lot of names to sit through being called. No, I have no idea when this is going to end.

Wait: the school president is back! I think this is the part where I take my cap off and toss it in the air with everyone else's lonely caps.

Is the ceremony over? Everyone keeps signing off.

I'm out of Doritos.


And now a quick joke...

ALWAYS recycle dead batteries. NEVER put them in the garbage. My brother WILL go through your trash and he WILL throw them at me if he finds them!!