On May 18, 2022, Taylor Swift addressed the graduating class of New York University, not only as a pop music icon but also as an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. Her speech was more than just a commencement address; it was a heartfelt and honest message to a generation facing an uncertain future.
Swift began by acknowledging the challenges that graduates face, stating, “This is a time when we are bombarded with information, with images, with messages from the outside world that are telling us that we are not enough.” She challenged the graduates to find their own truth and to not be afraid to “be curious, to be passionate, to be bold, to be wrong, to be right, to be different, to be you.”
Throughout her speech, Swift spoke about the importance of resilience, self-compassion, and the power of storytelling. She emphasized the need to learn from our mistakes, to forgive ourselves and others, and to keep moving forward. “Life is a wild ride,” she said, “but you are brave and capable and you will overcome anything.”
One of the most moving moments of the speech came when Swift spoke about the importance of empathy. She urged the graduates to “use your voice for those who don’t have one” and to “fight for what you believe in, even when it’s hard.” She shared a story about meeting a young fan who was battling cancer, and how that experience taught her the importance of using her platform to make a difference.
Taylor Swift’s speech was a powerful and inspiring message to a generation facing a world of uncertainty. It was a reminder that we are not alone in our struggles and that with hard work, dedication, and compassion, we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
- Embrace Uncertainty: Swift acknowledged the information overload and external pressures that can overwhelm us, encouraging graduates to find their own truth and embrace their unique identities.
- Build Resilience: Life is a rollercoaster, she stated, but resilience is key. Learning from mistakes, forgiving ourselves and others, and continuously moving forward are essential for navigating hardship.
- Embrace Self-Compassion: Swift emphasized the importance of being kind to ourselves and others, recognizing that we are all works in progress and deserving of compassion.
- The Power of Storytelling: Sharing stories connects us, builds empathy, and allows us to learn from each other’s experiences. Swift encourages the graduates to embrace their own stories and use them to connect with others.
- Use Your Voice for Good: Recognizing the platform she holds, Swift urged the graduates to use their voices to speak up for those who don’t have one and fight for what they believe in, even when it’s difficult.
- Video of Taylor Swift’s Speech: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OBG50aoUwlI
- Full Text of Taylor Swift’s Speech: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/taylor-swift-nyu-speech-1355121/
Taylor Swift’s speech served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for NYU’s Class of ’22 and anyone facing the future. Her words remind us that we are not alone, that resilience is our greatest weapon, and that using our voices for good can bring positive change.