David Foster Wallace’s Commencement Speech In ‘This Is Water’ Video Is Best Life Advice You’ll Ever Hear

Few of us actually remember the commencement speeches at our graduation. At that moment, as we excitedly lined up within a sea of itchy black gowns and enormous dreams, we would never have guessed that months down the road chasing our dreams would land us in a perpetual state of routine and frustration. It’s depressing, yes, but can your mindset be changed?

In 2005, award-winning author David Foster Wallace took the stage to deliver the commencement speech at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. A great American novelist and college professor, Wallace is best known for his work “Infinite Jest,” which was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 best novels written between 1923 and 2005. In his speech, Wallace addressed the concerns and annoyances that life throws at you, from gridlock traffic to standing in line behind a screaming mother at the grocery store.

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Wallace’s speech is captured in See The Glossary’s YouTube video “This is Water” and provides what I believe to be the best life advice since “beer before liquor, never sicker.” I only wish Wallace had made a stop at my university graduation to take the spot of our speaker, who simply quoted “Harry Potter” for four minutes straight. Had I heard some of his sage advice instead of “Anapneo,” I would have probably decided against taking that job as a moose hunter in Alaska and still have both arms.

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