Taylor Swift stepped up to the lectern at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday (May 18) to deliver the commencement address to New York University’s Class of 2022.
“Hi, I’m Taylor,” she said, wearing her first-ever cap and gown in the school’s famous shade of purple. “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.”
While joking that she was “90 percernt sure the main reason I’m here is because I have a song called ’22,'” Swift spent her first words as an honorary doctor of fine arts passing down hard-won nuggets of wisdom to the graduating class, their parents, assembled loved ones and viewers. Drawing from her own life experiences, the 11-time Grammy winner — who in 2016 declared that she wanted an honorary doctorate because good friend Ed Sheeran already had one — offered up lessons with good humor, from cutely poking fun at her love of cats, as well as naivete about what a college romance might look like in her “Love Story” video, to the difficult encounters that have come with her tremendous fame at a young age.
And just in case the grads didn’t bring a pen and notebook to take notes during the pop star’s 20-minute speech, we’ve rounded up seven major lessons and takeaways Swift shared during her remarks. (Read the complete transcript of the superstar’s speech here.)