Most commencement speeches are boring slogs that leave half the grads dozing off beneath their motar boards.
But today, graduates of New York University received a send-off that they’re sure to remember all too well! (And yes, you can expect a succession of similarly-lame song puns throughout this article.)
Taylor Swift took the stage to receive an honorary doctorate from the esteemed institution, and while she was there, she imparted some wisdom to the class of ’22. Swift joked after accepting her degree:
“I’m 90% sure that the reason I’m here is because I have a song called ‘22,’”
The administrators who granted her the degree begged to differ. They honored Taylor for being a “trailblazing and influential advocate for artists’ rights” as well as being “one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of her generation.”
Not too shabby! Taylor joked during her commencement speech:
“I’d to thank NYU for making me technically, on paper at least, a doctor. Not the type of doctor you would want around in the event of an emergency,”
Swift noted, however, that she might be of use if the emergency involved needing a song “with catchy hook and an intensely cathartic bridge section” or “a person who can name over 50 breeds of cat in one minute.”
Before sending them off on their first cruel summer in the adult world, Taylor told the grads a little about herself. she joked:
“As a person who started my very public career at the age of 15, it came with a price. And that price was years of unsolicited advice,”
“Life can be heavy. Especially if you try to carry it all at once. Decide what is yours to hold, and let the rest go. Oftentimes, the good things in your life are lighter anyway.”
Taylor reminded her young audience that happiness is delicate, and the future won’t always be enchanted, but throughout all of the ups and downs, hard work and optimism will never go out of style. She said:
“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 the most are the people I now hire to work for my company.”
Swift warned the grads that the road ahead is difficult, but she reminded them that when times get tough, they can always just shake it off. she said:
“Hard things will happen to us. We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it. And as long as we are fortunate enough to be breathing we will breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep and breathe out. And I am a doctor now so I know how breathing works. I hope you know how proud I am to share this day with you. We’re doing this together. So let’s just keep dancing like we’re the class of 22.”
The grads helped to make #DoctorSwift a trending topic on Twitter before Taylor even completed her speech. We’re sure it was a graduation ceremony that exceeded their wildest dreams.