Taylor Swift Reflects On "Getting Canceled" and Criticized Over Love Life in Candid Commencement Speech

Feeling the class of ’22! Taylor Swift shared "life hacks" about getting canceled, dating, and more in a moving graduation speech after receiving her honorary doctorate from NYU. Find out more below.

By Emlyn Travis May 18, 2022 6:51 PMTags
Watch: Taylor Swift Receives Doctorate & Speaks at NYU Graduation

Taylor Swift's life advice is just what the doctor ordered! 

On May 18, the singer-songwriter, 32, received her honorary doctorate of fine arts from New York University and imparted a bit of wisdom to its graduating class of 2022. In a moving commencement speech, Taylor dished about her experience growing up and dating in the public eye, the importance of being told 'no' and her experience being canceled.  

While Taylor noted that she typically stays away from giving out "unsolicited advice," she decided to share a few "life hacks" with her fellow graduates at Yankee Stadium that all centered around "navigating life, love, pressure, choices, shame, hope and friendship." 

In her life, Taylor said, "The times I was told, ‘No,' or wasn't included, wasn't chosen, didn't win, didn't make the cut…looking back, it really feels like those moments were as important, if not more crucial, than the moments I was told ‘yes.'" 

See Taylor Swift in Cap and Gown for Rare Public Appearance at NYU Commencement

The "22" singer then began to list moments that felt like endings, but instead acted as catalysts to change both her trajectory and perspective on life, including her heavily discussed romantic history. 

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

"Having the world treat my love life like a spectator sport in which I lose every single game was not a great way to date in my teens and twenties," she said. "But it taught me to protect my private life fiercely." (The singer has dated Joe Alwyn since 2017.)

She continued, "Being publicly humiliated over and over again at a young age was excruciatingly painful but it forced me to devalue the ridiculous notion of minute by minute, ever-fluctuating social relevance and likability." 

And, Taylor joked, "Getting canceled on the internet and nearly losing my career gave me an excellent knowledge of all the types of wine." 

Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock

In another candid moment, Taylor described herself as someone who is well-versed in "the pressure of living your life through the lens of perfectionism," but leveled with her fellow graduates that sometimes life doesn't work out as planned. 

"I leave you with this: We are led by our gut instincts, our intuition, our desires and fears, our scars and our dreams. And you will screw it up sometimes. So will I," she shared. "And when I do, you will most likely read about it on the internet." 

All jokes aside, Taylor added, "Hard things will happen to us. We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it." 

"I hope you know how proud I am to share this day with you. We're doing this together," the newly crowned Dr. Swift said. "So let's just keep dancing like we're…the class of 22." 

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