+
taylor swift, taylor swift speech, nyu class of 2022

Taylor Swift speaks at the New York University graduation.

Taylor Swift is only 32 years old, but as someone who’s been on the world’s stage for half her life, she’s a lot wiser than her years would suggest. The “Shake it Off” singer received an honorary doctorate from New York University as part of the school’s 2022 graduating class on May 18 at Yankee Stadium and followed it up with a speech for her fellow graduates.

In the speech, she discussed choosing what to let go of in life and the importance of eagerness. But the most important advice she shared was how to overcome mistakes. She explained how she deals with missteps to help her fellow graduates navigate the inevitable stumbles they'll take in their post-collegiate life.

She noted that being a pop star who was known as “America’s Sweetheart” gave her the extra burden of being a perfect role model. But living up to those expectations was impossible.


"I became a young adult while being fed the message that if I didn’t make any mistakes, all the children of America would grow up to be perfect angels,” she admitted. “However, if I did slip up, the entire Earth would fall off its axis and it would be entirely my fault and I would go to pop star jail forever and ever. It was all centered around the idea that mistakes equal failure and ultimately, the loss of any chance at a happy or rewarding life."

However, Swift believes that all the mistakes she’s made have “led to the best things in my life."

"Having the world treat my love life like a spectator sport in which I lose every single game was not a great way to date in my teens and 20s, but it taught me to protect my private life fiercely," she shared.

"Being publicly humiliated over and over again at a young age was excruciatingly painful but it forced me to devalue the ridiculous notion of minute-by-minute, ever-fluctuating social relevance and likability. Getting canceled on the internet and nearly losing my career gave me an excellent knowledge of all the types of wine," she joked, in what appeared to be an allusion to her feud with Kanye West.

Swift also encouraged students to embrace their embarrassing moments and to "live alongside cringe" as "cringe is unavoidable over a lifetime." She also made the scary but true point that we will all make big mistakes throughout our lives.

"In your life, you will inevitably misspeak, trust the wrong people, underreact, 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," she continued. "And I'm not gonna lie, these mistakes will cause you to lose things."

But the important thing is how we recover.

“Anyway, hard things will happen to us. We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it. 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,” she joked.

Swift sent the graduates off to their new lives where they will most likely work with a new cast of characters, including bosses, business partners, spouses, community leaders and children. But her advice was important because it taught them to make peace with the hardest critic they’ll ever have to please in their next chapters: themselves.

Pop Culture

Moms rally around Chrissy Teigen after she cautiously announces pregnancy two years after a loss

"I don’t think I’ll ever walk out of an appointment with more excitement than nerves but so far, everything is perfect and beautiful and I’m feeling hopeful and amazing."

Chrissy Teigen announces pregnancy.

Losing a baby is a tragedy at any stage of pregnancy, but losing a baby later in pregnancy can feel that much more devastating. Getting pregnant after loss is extremely anxiety-inducing, so when Chrissy Teigan cautiously announced she was pregnant with her fourth child, mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss collectively shared her apprehension.

Keep ReadingShow less

The way makers use time makes meetings far more disruptive than they are for managers.

Most people don't look at their work calendar on any given day and say, "Yay! I have a meeting!" Most of us just understand and accept that meetings are a part of work life in most industries.

Some people, however, are far more negatively impacted by scheduled meetings than others. For people involved in creating or producing, meetings are actively disruptive to work in a way that isn't often the case for managers.

A viral post with an explanation from Paul Graham breaks down why.

Keep ReadingShow less

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

Keep ReadingShow less