3 Inspirational And Relatable Quotes From Taylor Swift’s Commencement Speech at NYU

Wise words for everyone who is feeling happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time

Chau Trieu
3 min readMay 24, 2022


Taylor Swift during the graduation ceremony for New York University (Photo taken by AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

As a fan of the singer and a member of the class of 2020 who did not get to attend her graduation ceremony, I was excited to watch Taylor Swift delivering her speech after she was awarded an honorary doctorate at New York University.

Throughout her 23-minute speech, I noted down a few relatable quotes that you will surely resonate with as well.

1. Learn to live alongside cringe

A friend told me something similar about a decade ago:

“The most embarrassing moments are those we will remember the most when we grow older.”

As much as we don’t want it, we will experience embarrassment and cringe. We probably are doing, wearing, or talking about something that may lead us to utter humiliation. But in a few years when we are reminded of the moment, we won’t remember the mortification we went through.

We might even tell our friends and family that story and everybody will have a great laugh about it.

So don’t be afraid to do things that make you cringe and squirm. That feeling is only momentary. The memories of it are not.

2. Life can be heavy, especially if you try to carry it all at once

I dare say this is what most fresh graduates are going through, if not almost everyone of all ages.

We are trying so hard to be and do everything. We are pressured into achieving goals by a fixed date: getting a decent job by 24, settling down by 26, and having kids by 28. Who we are has to be identified by status, wealth, and properties, as if we were nothing without them. We hold on to the past anger and grudges as if our lives depended on them.

Putting all these burdens on our shoulders at all times makes us suffer but we are tricked into forgetting that with the promise of a bright tomorrow.

If there is one subject I wish we were taught at school, it’s Introduction to Letting Go.



Chau Trieu

Sharing stories about building a healthy relationship with your online writing journey and yourself. Sign up for my newsletter https://chauswriting.beehiiv.com/