Advice, like youth, is probably wasted on the young.
OK, OK, I’m not the first person to write those words. In fact, it was the headline on a famous 1997 Chicago Tribune column by Mary Schmich. A column so famous that it became a hit song, with Schmich’s advice to graduates placed over a low-key backing track. The gist of that advice: Wear sunscreen.
Words of wisdom indeed — more simple, direct and insightful than anything I could come up with.
And while the sunscreen suggestion has become the column’s signature, the article is filled with gems: “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.”
We could go on about Schmich’s column (the Chicago Tribune has it behind a paywall), because Pulitzer Prize winners tend to be better writers than I am. But we probably should move ahead. Besides, I already have buried the lead to this column: My daughter is a college graduate.
Emily received a degree in political science last week from Washington University in St. Louis. Next up is a year of graduate work at WashU for a Master’s in Public Health — a particularly prescient field of study at this point in human history.