Taylor Swift Delivered The Most Real Commencement Speech at NYU
“You will screw it up sometimes. So will I. We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it.”
It’s now Doctor Taylor Swift to you — The singer was just awarded an honorary degree at New York University, and she gave the pep talk everyone didn’t know they needed at yesterday’s ceremony.
The class of 2022 flipped their tassels from right to left at New York City’s Yankee Stadium, and graduates didn’t need to wait till Swift hit the stage to revel in the celebrations with her, as she documented her morning getting ready, too.
On Instagram, a post featured a reel of Taylor riding in a car in sweats, then transitioning to changing into a black dress with her coveted commencement robe draped over, taking photos, then back into the car, captioning it “Wearing a cap and gown for the very first time — see you soon NYU.”
The “Red” Artist graced the audience with a twenty-minute speech, and in true T-Swift fashion, it delivered all the feels. She touched on a variety of topics, with both wit and humor, as her opening statement shared, “I’m…90% sure the main reason I’m here is because I have a song called ‘22’.”
She goes on to joke about her new title as a doctor, and claims that she wouldn’t actually be helpful in an emergency situation, unless “your emergency was that you needed a person who can name over 50 breeds of cats in one minute.”
Though the songwriter laments she wished she could have experienced traditional college life, she took the time to acknowledge the hardships current students have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that perhaps they didn’t get the traditional experience they were hoping for either because of it.
“But in this case you and I both learned that you don’t always get all the things in the bag that you selected from the menu in the delivery service that is life. You get what you get. And as I would like to say to you, you should be very proud of what you’ve done with it,” she says.
She then provides a series of “life hacks” to the students, like “Life can be heavy, don’t carry it all at once,” and “learn to live alongside cringe.”
The Grammy winner advised, “Never be ashamed of trying,” because, “The people who wanted it the least were the ones I wanted to date and be friends with in high school. The people who want it most are the people I now hire to work for my company.”
Taylor discussed the ebb and flow of her career as an artist coming on to the scene at the age of fifteen, and the trials and tribulations that come with growing up in front of the camera. However, it is the reason for her depth and level of understanding, as she shares, “My experience has been that my mistakes led to the best things in my life.”
As she funnels down into her final words, Taylor got real with the crowd, saying “In your life, you will inevitably misspeak, trust the wrong people, under-react, overreact, hurt the people who didn’t deserve it, overthink, not think at all, self-sabotage, create a reality where only your experience exists, ruin perfectly good moments for yourself and others, deny any wrongdoing, not take the steps to make it right, feel very guilty, let the guilt eat at you, hit rock bottom, finally address the pain you caused, try to do better next time, rinse, repeat.”
Who’s feeling about 22 times better about their life right now?
You can watch Taylor’s full commencement speech on NYU’s official stream on Youtube.