One day, you will look back on the past six years and say “These college years were the happiest days of my life.” That day will come when you wake up at your parent’s house — and every day afterwards.

Many of you will be entering the job market in the next few weeks for the first time, and there are some practical things you need know that may help you in your search. First, all the students who graduated from this place last year, and all previous years, have already harvested all the good jobs. Or there are old people like me, who still have jobs. And guess what? I’m not handing down my salary just because you graduated from college. If you want my job, come and take it from me, punk.

Second, if you do get lucky and find a job that doesn’t require wearing a hairnet or a name tag, you will be shocked to learn that most businesses want you to be there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., not noon to 3 p.m. And unlike college, they won’t give you a month off for Easter, a month off for Christmas, and four months off for the summer. It’s two weeks and a couple of sick days — if you’re work for a good company. Even then, get ready to document every doctor’s appointment, every dentist visit, and how much of THEIR toilet paper your using on company time. Kind of makes you start thinking about going to grad school, doesn’t it?

And you’re not going to believe this doozy, but I don’t think most employers care that much about your championship year. Most of your big employers, the Wal-Marts and Microsofts and General Motors of this world don’t have football and basketball teams. They don’t have cheerleaders. It’s almost as if they care more about how smart you are, how much you know, how fast you can learn new things than they do about your college team. Go figure.

For most of you, today is the beginning, the start of your new life. It is the beginning of your new dead-end job at soul-crushing cube farm, the beginning of years of sleepless nights riddled with diaper changing; the beginning of endless, year-long fights with your spouse; the beginning of the first of many acrimonious divorces, the beginning of child-support payments, shared custody, the beginning of your drug and alcohol problems.

But mainly it will be the beginning of to trying to figure out where you will come up with the money to pay off your crippling student-loan debt and still have money left over for food. Between the commute to work, waiting for elevators, schlepping to and from the parking lot, it is also the end of your sex and social life. Grown-ups don’t have keggers, I don’t think they sell a video called “Middle-Aged Working Women Gone Wild.” You’ve probably watched Conan O’Brien for the last time.

Back home, you’ll run into guys from your high school class that didn’t go to college. Now they’re plumbers and electricians and car mechanics and contractors and they’re making a fortune. While you were spending $22,000 a year to go to school, they were making $50,000 a year. That puts you $77,000 a year in the hole, not $22,000.

They’ve already got a house and a car and they’re taking their wives and families on vacations. Maybe you could ask one of them for a job?

Oh, a few of you will escape and lead happy, productive lives. But it won’t be because you graduated from college. It won’t be because of some sheepskin in your hand. It will be because you’re leading a happy, productive life right now.