Taylor Swift delivered a commencement address for New York University’s class of 2022 today (May 18).
The pop star was also awarded an honorary doctorate before she gave the speech at the city’s Yankee Stadium. Watch video footage of the speech below.
“I’m 90% sure the reason I’m here is because I have a song called ’22’,” Swift joked, adding: “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 speech was full of references to her hit songs, as well as jokes about her doctorate. At one point she addressed out-of-town relatives and friends of the graduates with “Let me say to you now: Welcome to New York – it’s been waiting for you.”
“I’d like to thank NYU for making me technically, on paper at least, a doctor,” Swift joked at one point in her speech. “Not the type of doctor you would want around in 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. Or if your emergency was that you needed a person who can name over 50 breeds of cats in one minute.”
Swift also congratulated the students who made it through pandemic lockdowns, “essentially locked into your dorms or having to do classes over Zoom.”
She added: “Everyone in college during normal times stresses about test scores, but on top of that you also had to pass like a thousand COVID tests.
“I imagine the idea of a normal college experience was all you wanted, too. But in this case you and I both learned that you don’t always get all the things in the bag that you selected from the menu in the delivery service that is life. You get what you get. And as I would like to say to you, you should be very proud of what you’ve done with it.”
The singer-songwriter also shared that she’s “a big advocate for not hiding your enthusiasm for things.” She added: “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.”
Swift continued to share anecdotes with the crowd, saying: “As long as we are fortunate enough to be breathing, we will breathe through, breathe deep and breathe out. And I am a doctor now, so I know how breathing works.”
At the close of her speech, she referenced her hit song from her album ‘Red’ again. “Let’s keep dancing like we’re the class of ’22,” she added.
Meanwhile, Swift recently shared ‘This Love (Taylor’s Version)’, another track from her rework of 2014 album ‘1989’. She also debuted a brand new song, ‘Carolina’, in the trailer for the film adaptation of Delia Owens’ hit 2018 novel Where The Crawdads Sing, starring Normal People‘s Daisy Edgar Jones, back in March.
Elsewhere, the singer appeared in a trailer for the new David O. Russell film Amsterdam, alongside John David Washington, Margot Robbie and Christian Bale. It’s her first acting role since playing Bombalurina in the live-action version of Cats in 2019.