The singer received an honorary doctorate from the university – telling the class of 22 to "embrace cringe"
On May 18, Taylor Swift collected an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from New York University, in recognition of her contributions to music. In a 25 minute speech to the student body, Swift imparted some of the life lessons she’d learned over the years.
She first told the graduating class to work out what to keep with them and what to let go. “You can’t carry all things, all grudges, all updates on your ex, all enviable promotions your school bully got at the hedge fund his uncle started,” she said. “Decide what is yours to hold and let the rest go. Oftentimes the good things in your life are lighter anyway, so there’s more room for them. One toxic relationship can outweigh so many wonderful, simple joys. You get to pick what your life has time and room for. Be discerning.”
Swift also encouraged students to ‘embrace cringe’. “No matter how hard you try to avoid being cringe, you will look back on your life and cringe retrospectively,” she told them. “Cringe is unavoidable over a lifetime. Even the term ‘cringe’ might someday be deemed ‘cringe’.”
This isn’t the first time NYU has honoured Swift. Earlier this year, Rolling Stone journalist Brittany Spanos launched an eight-week course on Swift’s discography, career and persona. The course was fully subscribed.