Taylor Swift Delivers NYU Commencement Address at Yankee Stadium

Contrasting herself with the grads’ histories of formal education, the singer-songwriter noted that she did drop out of formal schooling after the 10th grade, at which point the rest of her high school consisted of her mother home-schooling her while they sat on the floors of airports as Swift went out on radio tours. These weeks-long visits to country radio stations consisted, she said, of “a rental car, motels and my mom and I pretending to have loud mother-daughter fights with each other during boarding so no one would want the empty seat between us on Southwest.”

Taylor Swift waves after speaking during a graduation ceremony for New York University at Yankee Stadium in New York, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Moving on to what she called “unsolicited advice” that might have actually been solicited by NYC, Swift urged the graduating students to “learn to live alongside 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. ” She promised that even some of the things students are doing or wearing today are things they will “find revolting and hilarious… For example, I had a phase where, for the entirely 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.”

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On a more serious note, she said, “I’m a big advocate for not hiding your enthusiasm for things. It seems to me that there is a false stigma of eagerness in our culture of unbothered ambivalence. … 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.”

Read Taylor Swift's Entire NYU 2022 Commencement Speech with References to  Her Songs, Getting Canceled, & More: Photo 4759846 | Taylor Swift Photos |  Just Jared: Entertainment News

Swift told the grads that all of them are writers, to some extent, like she is. “I’ve made and released 11 albums and in the process switched rom country to pop to alternative to folk. This might sound like a very singer-songwriter-focused line of attention.” But, she said, “You write differently in your Instagram stories than you do in your thesis… We are all literary chameleons, and I think it’s fascinating.”

Taylor Swift NYU speech: Singer gives 'life hacks' to class of 2022

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