Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
Wear a positive attitude.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, stay positive would be it. The long-term benefits of a positive spirit have been proven beyond question. It is more mportant than knowledge or skill. It will give your degree, wings to soar.
Don't worry about the future. Oh worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in our lives are apt to be things that never crossed our minds, the kind that blindside us at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that used to scare you. Make yourself grow.
Sing. Even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket, sing. Your spirit will thank you for it.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't let people be reckless with yours.
Floss, Brush and Gargle. Protect your teeth while you still have them. You will miss them when they are gone.
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.
Throw away old love letters and old bank statements. Learn from yesterday, plan for tomorrow, but live in today.
Stretch. Go to the gym or spa 3 times a week with a friend or go there to meet one. Keep your body youthfully active. A youthful body will help keep your mind young.
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. Find something that you enjoy and are good at and then pour yourself into it.
Volunteer with a friend. It will keep life active and in proper perspective.
Be kind to your knees and your back. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Take care of your body. You will need it for your entire time here. Take vitamins, eat right, get plenty of sleep and exercise. If you manage to do all those things, let me know how.
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 either. Just keep on being the best you can be.
Turn the television off. It will turn your body and your mind to mush. Don't watch it happen, make it happen.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Instructions and Practice, remember these words throughout life.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. The people in those pictures, have the same flaws and hang-ups as the rest of us.
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.
Learn to view life through another's eyes; especially your spouse and children. You don't have to agree, but do try to understand. It will turn a relationship into a bonding, a house into a home and a job into an enjoyable adventure.
You have walked into a movie that has been playing for some time. Study the movie, but understand, you cannot change the cast of characters or the theme. The only script you get to write is your own. Be the change you want to see.
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.
Trust me on the positive attitude.
Kurt Vonnegut's commencement address at MIT.
Have A Great Day!