Photographed in his hometown of Bloomington, Ill. ca. 1996.
Gary Hannabarger—Corbis
Ideas
May 22, 2015 1:52 PM EDT
David Foster Wallace was an author.

So starts what some view as the greatest commencement speech ever given. Here are our picks for its most important lessons:

1. You’re not the center of the universe

2. Don’t live life by default

3. You choose what you worship

4. Real freedom is sacrifice

5. Be aware of the world around you

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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