Wow, you made it through kindergarten, what an accomplishment. Let’s throw a party and make you feel special—you deserve it after all you went through. Those were challenging times learning to figure out the system that you will be subjected to for the rest of your life. So let’s start it off right with an undeserved party for making it all the way through one year of drawing and counting and clapping.

Here’s your trophy, you were on the team and you played in a few games. Coach can barely remember your name, but that’s okay, he got it right on the trophy. This ribbon means you were in the tournament. That ribbon means you got a ribbon for racing. Way to go! Make sure you high-five everyone on your way out and don’t forget to double high-five your frenemy, just to make sure you’re cool. Fantastic effort, you entered and exited the stage as you were supposed to. You’re a star! Here are flowers, candy, and a pizza.

What’s that? Did I just hear that you’re graduating fifth grade? You’re a superstar! You turned 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18. Somehow you just keep aging. That’s incredible, well done. Let’s throw an unforgettable, expensive party just for your birthday! Oh, and there’s no stopping you, you just keep going. You keep going to school and turning in homework that’s asked of you and showing up most of the time you’re supposed to and, amazingly enough, no one knows how you did it but you did: you graduated high school! The world is yours, keep it up. There’s no telling what you can’t do. Impressive, you’re going to college! Hardly anyone seems to make it that far and you did, what an achievement. You got approved for loans, bravo! You got a credit card too, double cool. You got a certificate! Break out the champagne, you are inspiring future generations. Go take a graduation vacation on that new credit card, you are worth it.

Congratulations. You made it to adulthood. Cue the applause. Here’s a debt collector! Here’s a career you’re stuck in, but here’s a discount on your phone bill—since we will expect you to respond at all hours of the day. There’s a mandatory company party, just for fun. Good work, you showed up, here’s a door prize—a company coffee mug. Thanks for coming to the conference, here’s a folder and a cup and a cookie for your presence. Yum, it’s Tuesday, here’s a doughnut for coming to work today. You sure seem to be typing a lot and fast, how about we give you this project—you’re just so good at what you do. You’re the best! We couldn’t be what we are without team members like you.

You completed the race, you made it to the finish line even though you’re still 50 pounds overweight. You did it, hurray! Here’s a T-shirt and a whole bag filled with treats and samples. Make sure to try the protein bar to re-energize your body! You deserve it. You’re amazing! Great job! You’ve succeeded at nothing. But you voted. Here’s a sticker!