The only way to describe the upcoming spring commencement at the University of Wisconsin is “tight butthole.” That’s because Anders Holm, a UW alum with a history degree and one of the creators, writers and actors of the hit show “Workaholics,” will be speaking.
Considering that last year’s speaker was CEO and president of Yahoo! Carol Bartz, it may seem that having Holm speak is a bit on the loose butthole side, but in reality, it represents a significantly tighter butthole (that’s the most times I’ve used “butthole” in a sentence since third grade). I think it will be a great opportunity for graduates to hear firsthand from a fellow Badger about how you can become successful by taking the road less traveled.
How does a history major become a leading comedic actor and writer? I have no freaking idea… but apparently Holm did. Turns out it was not his major that got him where he is today – instead, it was a love for swimming and making connections.
After Holm discussed swimming with a Hollywood producer at an internship, the producer helped him become a writer’s assistant for the show “Bones.” From there he went on to write sketches for “Second City L.A.,” where he met Adam DeVine and Blake Anderson, two of the other co-creators of “Workaholics.” The rest is history.
To me, this story is a lot more interesting than the classic tale many people tell about how they started at the bottom of the company and, due to a series of promotions, are now the big kahuna. As a speaker, Holm provides a fresh perspective on achieving success that is downplayed because it is not the “traditional” or “academic” route.
I went to the commencement ceremony last year because my brother was graduating and, although Carol Bartz had a lot of good information about how she achieved her success, the speech was predictable and very dry – drier than a Thanksgiving turkey without gravy.
When Holm speaks, I predict that he will be very unpredictable. Yeah, hard to wrap your mind around that. I think he will do a great job both speaking and entertaining at the commencement. This year I do not have any relatives graduating, but I would love to go to the commencement ceremony just to hear Holm speak about where he’s been, how he got there and where he plans to go in the future.
Having someone like Holm speak puts things in perspective when kids are stressing out over their majors and grades. How important are your major and grades anyway if what matters are the experiences you have and the people that you meet along the way?
A lot of times, especially during midterms and finals, I think students lose sight of what college is supposed to be about. It’s about building relationships, learning how to get along with people and doing your dishes so you don’t have hepatitis in your sink.
So, I encourage you to study enough to stay in school, but do not burn yourself out – live a little, enjoy life and cherish your time at college. It seems like Holm was able to have a good time in school, and he has obviously made some good connections in life to be where he is now.
You don’t always need to follow the path that Mom and Dad choose for you. Do something different, do something that you think is tight butthole and maybe someday even you can be that history major turned extremely successful actor and writer. The only thing that’s holding you back is yourself.
Hayes Cascia (email@example.com) is a sophomore with an undeclared major.