Watch Taylor Swift Deliver an Inspiring Commencement Speech to ‘22 Graduates


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If you’re a Swiftie, there was no better time to graduate from NYU than in 2022. This year’s graduation—the first ceremony since 2019—awarded singer-songwriter Taylor Swift an honorary doctorate, and she had the privilege of delivering the university’s commencement address.

Swift started her 20-minute-long speech by stepping up to the mic and simply saying, “Hi, I’m Taylor.” She then went on to acknowledge her own fame with a clever quip. “Last time I was in a stadium this size, I was dancing in heels and wearing a glittery leotard. I am 90% sure I am here because I have a song called '22.' And let me just say, I am elated to be with you here today as we celebrate and graduate New York University's Class of '22.”

Her speech included themes that we’ve come to expect with commencement speeches—but with a Swift twist, of course. She told personal anecdotes and was encouraging while imparting valuable life advice that she’s gathered in her 32 years, over half of them being in the public eye. “Decide what is yours to hold, and let the rest go,” she shared. Swift also recommended that the graduates “learn to live alongside cringe” because wincing at the past is inevitable. (One day we might think of the slang “cringe” and actually cringe.)

Nearly every commencement speech has some form of “your whole life is before you.” Swift reminds the graduating class of this fact. “Scary news is, you're on your own now. Cool news is, you're on your own now. I leave you with this: We are led by our gut instincts, our intuition, our desires and fears, our scars, and our dreams. You will screw it up sometimes.” So will she. “And when I do, you will most likely read about it on the internet.”

Her speech concludes with something that all of us, recent graduates and those well past it, would do well to remember. “Anyway, hard things will happen to us,” Swift continued. “We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it.”

If you need a pick-me-up, watch the rest of Swift’s speech below.

Taylor Swift was awarded an honorary doctorate at NYU, and she had the privilege of delivering the university’s 2022 commencement address.

Her speech is inspiring to anyone—not just recent graduates. “Anyway, hard things will happen to us,” she said. “We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it.”

h/t: [BuzzFeed]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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