luni, 6 iunie 2011

Graduation is here

Some kind of discourse written by some lady whose name I don't know, but at least I don't say I'm the one who wrote it. This is for all the students who graduate this year. I'll graduate the day after tomorrow.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be 
it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by 
scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more 
reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this 
advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You 
will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until 
they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos 
of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much 
possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You 
are not as fat as you imagine. 
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is 
as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing 
bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that 
never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 
p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with 
people who are reckless with yours. 
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, 
sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's 
only with yourself. 
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you 
succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your 
life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what 
they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 
40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them 
when they're gone. 
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, 
maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance 
the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever 
you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself 
Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. 
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or 
of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll 
ever own. 
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. 
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone 
for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your 
past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. 
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you 
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and 
lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people 
who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. 
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will 
philander. You too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize 
that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians 
were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust 
fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know 
when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will 
look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who 
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of 
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the 
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.

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