Ladies and gentleman 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 
suncreen 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. But never mind, you will never understand the power and the beauty of your youth until theyíve faded. But trust me, in twenty years, you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you canít grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Donít worry about the future or worry but know that worrying is just as affective 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 blindsides you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you. Sing. Donít be reckless with other peoplesí hearts, donít put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Donít waste your time on jealously. Sometimes youíre ahead, sometimes youíre behind. The race is long and in the end, totally 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. Stretch. Donít feel guilty if you donít know what to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didnít know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives some of the most interesting 40 year olds still donít. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, youíll miss them when theyíre gone. Maybe youíll marry, maybe you wonít. Maybe youíll have children, maybe you wonít. Maybe youíll 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 either. Your choices are half chance. So is everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Donít be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument youíll ever own. Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions even if you donít 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 are 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 for a precious few, you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, for the older you get, the more you need the people you knew 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. Travel. Accept certain inaliable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old and when you do, youíll fanaticize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Donít expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe youíll have a wealthy spouse but you never know when either one will run out. Donít mess too much with your hair or by the time youí re forty, youíll 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 wishing 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.