Transcript: Wednesday, May 7 at 11 a.m. ET

Advice for Graduates from CollegeHumor.com

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Streeter Seidell
Front Page Editor, CollegeHumor.com
Wednesday, May 7, 2008; 11:00 AM

Attention Class of 2008: CollegeHumor.com editor Streeter Seidell was online Wednesday, May 7 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about what to expect from post-college life.

A transcript follows.

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Streeter Seidell: Hello and welcome to what will surely be the most comprehensive and important Q&A taking place on this Website at 11 a.m. today. I'm happy to answer any of your questions about post-collegiate life to the best of my assistant's ability.

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Edroy, Texas: Since I think my postgraduate job will involve food service. Would you help me out by telling me about the origin of a cheeseburger? Thanks.

Streeter Seidell: What an amazing question to kick things off. Now, this is a particularly contentious topic since many places claim to have invented the sandwich (including one in Texas). But I am a son of Connecticut and must stay true to my roots. The hamburger was invented at Louis' Lunch in New Haven, CT in 1900. It's still in owned and operated by the same family and still has amazing burgers.

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Estero, Fla.: Is it true, that after college, I will lose my taste for cheap beer?

Streeter Seidell: Absolutely not. Cheap beer will always taste great, secretly. The difference is that all your friends will start talking about how certain beers are "hoppy" and have "hints of chocolate" and you'll want to fit in. However, after a few of those expensive, "good" beers, everyone will glance at their wallets and start ordering Milwaukee's Best.

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Syracuse, N.Y.: Did you get involved in CollegeHumor right after you graduated? And what credentials did you have that got you the job?

Streeter Seidell: I had one day off between graduation and starting work at CollegeHumor. I had been writing for the site for a year and half by the time I graduated, all of which was done for free. Luckily, the site was getting more popular right when I was graduating and they had signed a book deal. The book needed writers and it just worked out. I couldn't have asked for an easier transition.

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Toronto, Ontario: For how long after graduation is it acceptable to eat toaster oven-cooked chicken fingers for dinner?

Streeter Seidell: I don't think this is so much a college/post-college question as it is a girlfriend/no-girlfriend question. The second you begin to live with a significant other all fun dining options - like chicken fingers and Froot Loops - are mysteriously replaced with organic wheat pasta and cheeses you can't pronounce. I learned the hard way. Sometimes I awake from a deep sleep soaked with sweat and craving yellow #5.

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Hamilton, Ontario: Is law school worth the money...? I've already spent so much on university.

Streeter Seidell: That depends, really. If you want to be a lawyer it is indeed worth the money. If you don't plan on becoming a lawyer though, it's a waste of both time and money.

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Dallas, Texas: What is the single most important piece of advice you can give me about life after graduation?

Streeter Seidell: This is the single biggest thing I learned after I graduated: you still have a good 3 years before anyone takes you seriously. I'm 25 now and I'm just starting to be listened to by older folks. I thought I would waltz into a room with my fancy degree and everyone would take me seriously. Wrong. Some of that may be due to my career choice to wear wigs and act like a girl in videos, but I think it's pretty widespread in the non-funny website business world as well.

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Albany, N.Y.: What do you suggest one does with a bachelor's degree in English?

Streeter Seidell: Try to trade it in for one in finance. If they won't let you do that, you should frame it and hang it up somewhere.

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CF, Iowa: True or false, John Mellencamp is just a cheap, Republican knock-off of Bruce Springsteen?

Streeter Seidell: False. John Mellencamp is a Democrat. I think...

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Tampa, Fla.: What do you miss most about college?

Streeter Seidell: I miss not thinking about money. I was lucky enough to have my parents foot the bill so, while I worked a few jobs over the four years, I was never had to. Now money, or lack thereof, consumes most of my brain time.

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Freehold, N.J.: I enjoy sleep very much, what career can I get into that allows me to wake up at noon everyday?

Streeter Seidell: Blogger. Or, failing that, Unemployment Check Collector.

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Syracuse, N.Y.: Throughout your site and your book, you guys seem to hint that majoring in communications is a bad idea. I understand Dan from CollegeHumor did, and I am as well. Even at the same school. But I'm not as funny as he is. Am I going to be living on the streets of Syracuse begging for change and living off of uncooked Ramen and Easy Mac for the rest of my life?

Streeter Seidell: I also majored in communications and, yes, we do sort of imply that it's a bad idea. but that's just for a laugh. I actually think it's one of the better majors preciesly because it's usually so unfocused. You're exposed to so much - from media ethics to screenwriting - that you come away from it with a pretty broad knowledge base which can be applied to any number of jobs.

Also, it's totally easy.

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Lansdale, Pa.: What was the hardest part about finding a place to live once you graduated?

Streeter Seidell: Writing a check for $3,000 and handing it to my landlord.

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Athens, Ohio: How long till you have to pretend that you know how things like mortgages work?

Streeter Seidell: That depends where you live. My friends who live in rural areas all bought houses and cars right after college. Since I live in New York, where a closet stinking of urine costs $1.2 million, I've been relieved of having to learn about that kind of stuff. Until I make $1.2 million, that is. Then that closet will be all mine!

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Des Moines, Iowa: Does anything replace the anxiety of procrastinating a term paper until 8 p.m. the night before it's due?

Streeter Seidell: Yes. The growing panic of realizing you're only getting uglier and fatter as the years pass by.

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Fort Worth, Texas: What would you say is the best way to get into an entry-level job position after college? Most jobs are demanding masters degrees now, so how can a grad make the B.A. look good?

Streeter Seidell: The best way to get a job is by having a great interview. Resumes and cover letters are all well and good but if you can impress the hiring boss with your personality you're a lock. It's my belief that people would rather work with a genial person with less experience than a bummer with a long resume.

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Bloomington, Ind.: Do you suggest moving out immediately after college, or is it a better idea to live with your parents for a while?

Streeter Seidell: My dad sat me down the night before I left for college and said, "Son, I will pay for you for four years but the day you graduate, that's over. Got it?" That kind of forced me to be independent as soon as I graduated and it was one of the best things anyone ever did for me. It was frustrating at first but being forced to budget wound up being way more helpful than a free place to sleep for a few months would have been.

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Providence, R.I.: Should I be worried about spending 12 years pursuing a degree?

Streeter Seidell: If that degree is in philosophy, yes.

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Louisville, Ky.: My girlfriend keeps pushing me to propose, and I use that I'm in college as the excuse. I even went to grad school to postpone it even more. How to I dodge this problem after graduation? (P.S. she is totally hot.)

Streeter Seidell: I say you stick to your current plan -- continuing your education as a means of staying single. Who knows how many great degrees you could gather all while keeping your girlfriend at bay? Med school buys you another 4 years of bachelorhood!

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Toronto, Canada: What is more important do you think, get a "serious" job asap after college or head out into the world and travel/work at a job that might not lead you anywhere career wise, but would allow you to travel and experience the world?

Streeter Seidell: I started work immediately after college and I kind of regret that I didn't get to travel for a while. If you have the means I would suggest doing something - anything, really - besides getting a job right after graduation. You have your whole life to work but you can only travel in your early twenties because that's when you have your best chance at meeting some exotic, foreign beauty.

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Oxford, Ohio: I need help. Should I graduate a semester early, or stay in school and take classes such as horseback riding and racquetball? Is it worth the money?

Streeter Seidell: Is it your parents' money? If so, bring on the racquetball and the 'South Park and American Culture' classes!

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Auburn, Ala.: What was your most significant accomplishment in college?

Streeter Seidell: Eating 13 White Castle burgers in a White Castle Case Race (two teams of 3 compete to see who can eat a Crave Case, 30 burgers, quickest).

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West Lafayette, Ind.: Having racked up over 50k in student loans -- I don't want to pay these things back. Asides from faking my death is there a way out? (If not, how do I fake my own death?)

Streeter Seidell: Check your email. I think the King of Zaire has died and left you $12.3 million dollars. All they need to get you that money is a bank account number and your social security number. Problem solved.

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Fort Worth, Texas: Honestly, are any of these algebra, business economics, and religion classes ever going to come in handy after graduation? Most all degrees could be two-year if it weren't for the general requirement stuff.

Streeter Seidell: Of course they will. Classes that seemingly have no real-world application are often the most useful in a post-collegiate environment. They provide ripe and common grounds for making fun with your fellow grads. "This one class I had was sooooo stupid," you'll say to a group of co-workers. "It was about, like, religious overtones in post-modern artwork or something." Before you know it all of your peers will be chiming in with their own "this class was so stupid" story and you'll all have a big laugh.

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Streeter Seidell: Well, that's all the time we have. Thanks so much for all your questions, I'm sorry I couldn't get to all of them. It's just that I can only evade so many questions in an hour. To all the graduates, I wish you the best of luck! Unless you're gunning for my job, in which case I'll have no choice but to swiftly and mercilessly crush you.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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