A noble institution? A good show? A tedious quarter-hour of lame jokes told under the hot sun? The American commencement address can be all of these things.
We skipped and slogged through 50 of the most popular commencement speeches on YouTube - looking for inspiration, wisdom, amusement, corny jokes and clichés - to bring you this mashup of highlights and lowlights.
If this mashup inspires you to see and read more of some of these speeches, NPR's new commencement speech database holds over 300 outstanding speeches going back to 1774.
Maybe one of them can help prepare you for the "real" world.