10 Brutally Honest Celebrity Graduation Speeches You Needed To Watch Yesterday

1. Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary… Stay hungry; stay foolish.”

2. Conan O’Brien, Dartmouth College, 2011

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELC_e2QBQMk&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “In 2000, I told graduates to not be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

3. Amy Poehler, Harvard University, 2011

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7N_L_pu74k&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “You never know what is around the corner unless you peek. Hold someone’s hand while you do it. You will feel less scared. You can’t do this alone. Besides it is much more fun to succeed and fail with other people. You can blame them when things go wrong.”

4. Oprah Winfrey, Spelman College, 2012

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpx8uNzRdew&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “You want to be in the driver’s seat of your own life, because if you’re not, life will drive you.”

5. Charlie Day, Merrimack College, 2014

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IulvPqb1Eus&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “You can not let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgement stop you from doing the things that will make you great. You can not succeed without the risk of failure. You can not have a voice without the risk of criticism. You can not love without the risk of loss. You must take these risks…Be willing to fail. Let yourself fail. Fail in the way and place where you would want to fail. Fail and pick yourself up and fail again. Without that struggle, what is your success anyway?

As best we know we have one life. In it, you must trust your own voice, your own ideas, your honestly and venerability and though this you will find your way. You don’t have to be fearless, just don’t let fear stop you.”

6. JK Rowling, Harvard University, 2011

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHGqp8lz36c&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

7. Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane University, 2009

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JccudODwwY&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “For me, the most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and not to give into peer pressure to try to be something that you’re not, to live your life as an honest and compassionate person, to contribute in some way. So to conclude my conclusion, follow your passion, stay true to yourself. Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path and by all means you should follow that.”

8. Denzel Washington, University of Pennsylvania, 2011

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpW2sGlCtaE&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “You will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something. There is no doubt about it. … Never be discouraged. Never hold back. Give everything you’ve got. And when you fall throughout life — and maybe even tonight after a few too many glasses of champagne — fall forward.”

9. Jim Carrey, Maharishi University of Management, 2014

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V80-gPkpH6M&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

10. Aaron Sorkin, Syracuse University, 2012

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwvilfPWHYI&w=786&h=400%5D

Required Reading: “Rehearsal’s over. You’re going out there now; you’re going to do this thing. How you live matters. You’re going to fall down but the world doesn’t care how many times you fall down, as long as it’s one fewer than the number of times you get back up.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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