SunscreenOrig­i­nal essay “Advise” by Mary Schmich. Music video­clip by Bazz Luhrmann. Enjoy.


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 pm 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 either. 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 if 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. Trav­el.

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.

Gepubliceerd door Stijn Vogels

Natural born probleemoplosser met een oog voor usability, design, trends en details. Professioneel bezig met letterwoorden als SEO, SEA, SMO, DIY en CYA.

2 reacties op “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”

Reacties zijn gesloten.