College commencement exercises have always been marked by advice showered upon new graduates. The Daily Nebraska State Journal, May 16, 1889, offered its congratulations and recommendations to the “graduates of the present year”:
“Commencement season is so close at hand that The Journal feels like offering to the graduates of the present year its welcome into active life in advance of the momentous occasion when the college life shall end. During the next month these young ladies and gentlemen will be informed by the numerous dyspeptic critics who never allow such opportunity to pass unimproved, that they didn’t know anything, that they think too much of themselves, that they are too conceited, that much learning made them mad, so to speak, that they must stop their foolishness and go to work, and a lot of other truck, conveying the idea that they are generally a worthless lot and sadly in need of a little contact with the world.
“But this is mostly gammon. Of course, it is natural for a young graduate to look out over the world with a good deal of scorn and with the feeling that he can get to the front, no difference what happens, and some start out with this idea, sad to say, and usually get wrecked about the first dive they make. But on the whole these graduates are a fine lot of young men and young women and when the rawness and inexperience wears off will turn themselves to good account, both to themselves and the world. The college bred man isn’t as bad always as he is painted.”