Graduation season is fast approaching and it’s an exciting time for the students that have worked their butts off during their educational tenure. Commencement speeches, however, tend to be a little on the boring (and long) side which is pitiful because this is the time when young adults need to hear words of encouragement the most.
Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of speakers that move their audience to tears and leave listeners feeling invincible. However, everyone doesn’t have the pleasure of attending a university that has the ability to shell out the big bucks for those who are sure to deliver. Fret not, though! I’ve rounded up a few of the most inspiring speeches from around the country over the past few years that’ll be sure to inspire the h-ll out of you!
1. Jim Carrey, Maharashi University of Management (2014)
Major Key: “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. So many of us don’t dare to ask the universe for our dreams to come true because it seems so out of reach. My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. When I was 12, he was let go from that job and we had to whatever we could to survive. It was then I realized that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”
2. Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane University (2009)
Major Key: “Some of the most devastating things that have happened to you will teach you the most important lessons you can ever learn. Try to keep that in mind while you’re navigating your way through it.”
3. Michelle Obama, Tuskegee University (2015)
Major Key: “Rise above the noise and pressures that surround you” and push for the “never-failing miracle of progress.”
4. Tim Cook (Apple CEO), George Washington University (2015)
Major Key: “Don’t shrink from risk. And tune out those critics and cynics. History rarely yields to one person, but think, and never forget, what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you.”
5. President Barack Obama, Hampton University (2010)
Major Key: “Your education has sharpened your research abilities; honed your analytical power and given you a context for understanding the world. Now that your mind is open, it’s your job to keep them that way; to also open the minds you meet along the way.”
MADE by Jasmine Browley