Total expenses for attending your school over four years—or, as I would put it, your total investment in education have grown. This is largely the government’s fault. We have guaranteed all sorts of subprime student loans, if you will, whom no capitalist in his right mind would guarantee, and, when prices go up and loans even more nonsensical, we guarantee those loans too. Thanks to my administration, and to my pandering to you elites, this will continue so long as I am president. I have scared the Republicans into going along with my ideas on this issue, which they should know by now to be stupid. You’re welcome.
?As for being stylish, that is similarly unimportant. Beauty, having reached its height, slowly crumbles and rots. You can’t keep it. You also can’t control most of the factors that contribute to it, so you might as well not hope too hard for it. Try hoping for things you can control and achieve by hard work, and there is no clearer example of that than striving for moral integrity—no one but you can control your character.
The reason people want power and style is to be seen, to be admired, for people to adore them. As a man whom millions adore, I can tell you firsthand that it is not what it is cracked up to be. It can warp even someone like me, who rose to power meteorically on the promise of healing partisan wounds, into my current dogmatism and mean-spirited caricature of my political opponents.
Never forget that you were here at Barnard College largely because of great good fortune; don’t assume you deserve everything you have. Humility will protect you from yourself; it will keep you on your guard. Use it.