Taylor Swift received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from New York University on Wednesday and delivered the commencement address at the 2022 graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium.
In her speech, the 11-time Grammy winner joked, “I’m 90% sure that the reason I’m here is because I have a song called ’22,'” and shared that she “never got to have a normal college experience,” citing the fact that she only went to public high school until 10th grade so she could pursue her music career.
Swift also poked fun at herself, saying, “I’d like to thank NYU for making me technically, on paper at least, a doctor. Not the type of doctor you would want around in the case of 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.”
Ahead of Wednesday’s ceremony, fans of Swift began putting out offers to NYU students online, asking them to buy their tickets to the commencement to get a chance to see the superstar. Some fans offered hundreds of dollars for tickets to the ceremony, but the university’s policy prohibited students from selling or auctioning off their tickets and limited each student to two tickets.
For the lucky students of the class of ’22 who did get to see Swift, they were able to hear her advice, including to “never be ashamed of trying. Effortlessness is a myth.”
“I know it can be really overwhelming figuring out who to be, and when. Who you are now and how to act in order to get where you want to go,” she said. “I have some good news: it’s totally up to you. I also have some terrifying news: it’s totally up to you.”
Swift concluded her speech by telling the graduates that making mistakes is inevitable — but she said that “when hard things happen to us, we will recover, we will learn from it, we will grow more resilient because of it.”