I’ve told you this long tale of my time at Vassar because what everybody says is absolutely true. These are, or these were, the halcyon days. Real Life is actually a lot more like high school. The common denominator prevails. Excellence is not always recognized or rewarded. What we watch on our screens, whom we elect, are determined to a large extent by public polls. Looks count. A lot. And unlike the best of the college experience, when ideas and solutions somehow seem attainable if you just get up early, stay up late, try hard enough, and find the right source or method, things on the outside sometimes seem vast and impossible, and settling, resigning oneself, or hiding and hunkering down becomes the best way of getting along.

Meryl Streep (b. 1949) American actress
Commencement Address, Vassar College (1983)

Full text. Sometimes quoted (as a generic "commencement address"): "You have been told that Real Life is not like college, and you have been correctly informed. Real Life is more like high school."

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Oct-09
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