What did Taylor Swift say in her commencement speech at NYU?
The music artist talked about making mistakes, learning from failure and letting go of perfection during her commencement speech at New York University on Wednesday
It seems like Taylor Swift is welcome in New York and is truly feeling 22 — the class of ’22, that is.
Swift delivered the commencement address for New York University’s graduating class of 2021 and 2022 on Wednesday, honoring both classes this year due to pandemic restrictions in 2021.
In March, she received an honorary diploma from the university for a doctorate in Fine Arts, the Deseret News reported.
The music artist never attended college or university and was homeschooled her junior and senior years of high school, when she first started rising to fame in 2006, according to Variety.
Known for having one of the most enthusiastic and passionate fanbases, Swift’s popularity was proven again by a report that her fans were offering hundreds of dollars to snag tickets for the speech from NYU grads, the New York Post reported.
What were the highlights from Taylor Swift’s NYU commencement address?
On the last time she was in New York City’s Yankee Stadium:
- “Last time I was in a stadium this size, I was dancing in heels and wearing a glittery leotard. This outfit is much more comfortable.”
On why she was chosen as a speaker:
- “I’m 90% sure the reason I’m here is because I have a song called ‘22.’”
On getting a doctorate degree from NYU:
- “I’d like to thank NYU for making me technically, on paper at least, a doctor. Not the type of doctor you would want around in the case of an emergency, unless your specific emergency was that you desperately needed to hear a song with a catchy hook and an intensely cathartic bridge section. Or if your emergency was that you needed a person who can name over 50 breeds of cats in one minute.”
- “As long as we are fortunate enough to be breathing, we will breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out. And I’m a doctor now, so I know how breathing works.”
On letting go:
- “Life can be heavy, especially if you try to carry it all at once.”
- “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.”
- “You get to pick what your life has time and room for. Be discerning.”
On living alongside the cringe:
- “No matter how hard you try to avoid being cringe, you will look back on your life and cringe retrospectively.
- “Cringe is unavoidable over a lifetime.
- “Even the term ‘cringe’ might someday be deemed ‘cringe.’”
- “For example, I had a phase where, for the entirety of 2012, I dressed like a 1950s housewife. But you know what? I was having fun. Trends and phases are fun. Looking back and laughing is fun.”
On trying to be too cool to be excited about things:
- “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.”
On making mistakes:
- “My experience has been that my mistakes led to the best things in my 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 afterward and laugh about it? That’s a gift.”
- “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.”
Read the full speech on Billboard.com.