The Best Bits From Taylor Swift’s Incredible Speech At NYU Graduation Ceremony

Taylor Swift was presented with an honorary doctorate degree in Fine Arts by New York University recently. The graduation ceremony took place at New York’s Yankee Stadium where Swift gave a rather touching and enlightening speech.

Rocking her graduation coat, cap and her signature red lip, Taylor Swift was asked to give advice to the batch of young graduates and reading her full speech felt like a warm hug on a winter night.

So, we know that Taylor has a way with words. Whether it be taking a dig at the patriarchy and voicing a woman’s opinion in a man’s world to speaking about toxic relationships that left her shattered, her words are simple to understand but difficult to come to terms with.

So when, in the recent ceremony, Taylor said, “Life can be heavy, especially if you try to carry it all at once,” you understand that it is necessary to let some things go but you don’t know how, or what to let go.

“Life can be heavy, especially if you try to carry it all at once. Part of growing up and moving into new chapters of your life is about catch and release. What I mean by that is, knowing what things to keep, and what things to release. You can’t carry all things, all grudges, all updates on your ex, all enviable promotions your school bully got at the hedge fund his uncle started. Decide what is yours to hold and let the rest go.”

I remember how I used to be utterly thrilled when a new Taylor Swift song dropped back when I was in school. But I was surrounded by people who used to listen to (or at least pretended to listen to) stuff like Nirvana and Pink Floyd. They used to cringe at Taylor Swift’s songs and so, in order to fit in, I pretended as if I didn’t care, even though I sang her songs loudly while taking a shower.


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Shake it off? My go-to jam every time a stupid guy broke my heart.

So when Taylor said this, you bet my relatability was at pro max.

“I’d like to say that I’m a big advocate for not hiding your enthusiasm for things. It seems to me that there is a false stigma around eagerness in our culture of ‘unbothered ambivalence’. This outlook perpetuates the idea that it’s not cool to ‘want it’. That people who don’t try hard are fundamentally more chic than people who do.”

What is “effortlessness”? It’s a myth.

“Never be ashamed of trying. Effortlessness is a myth. 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.”

I, like a lot of people, struggle with the idea of who I am and who am I supposed to be. It’s terrifying. But at least I have the choice.

“It can be really overwhelming figuring out who to be, and when. Who you are now and how to act in order to get where you want to go. I have some good news: it’s totally up to you. I also have some terrifying news: it’s totally up to you.”

Don’t be scared to be embarrassed. Messing up is just a part of life.

“Being embarrassed when you mess up is part of the human experience. Getting back up, dusting yourself off and seeing who still wants to hang out with you afterwards and laugh about it? That’s a gift.”

Life is looooonnngg. There’ll be good, bad and ugly days. You’ll lose people, things, and positions. But like Taylor says, “Losing things doesn’t mean losing.”
“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.  And I’m not gonna lie, these mistakes will cause you to lose things. I’m trying to tell you that losing things doesn’t just mean losing. A lot of the time, when we lose things, we gain things too.”
If you want to read her incredible full speech, click here.
I believe in Taylor Swift supremacy!
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