Taylor Swift has given a spirited commencement speech at New York University, having just been awarded an honourary doctorate in Fine Arts from the lauded institution.
Taking to the stage at Yankee Stadium as one of several speakers for NYU’s 2022 commencement ceremony yesterday, Swift’s speech to graduating students received a standing ovation.
“Hi, I’m Taylor,” she began. “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.”
The singer-songwriter went on to say she felt “so proud” to share the ceremony with her fellow honourees, neuroscientist Susan Hockfield and City University of New York Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez.
After acknowledging that she never went to college, she joked that her new identifier doesn’t make her the kind of doctor you’d call in 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,” she said, “or, if your emergency was that you needed a person who can name over 50 breeds of cats in one minute.”
She went on to give graduates several pieces of advice, suggesting they take time to work out “what things to keep and what things to release”, that “effortlessness is a myth”, that they should “learn to live alongside cringe”, and this little gem: “The scary news is: You’re on your own now. But the cool news is: You’re on your own now.”
Watch her full speech below.