10 Best Pieces Of Advice From Celebrity Commencement Speeches

Enjoy some last minute advice before you enter the real world.

1. Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005

“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.”

2. J.K. Rowling, Harvard University, 2008

“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.”

3. Barack Obama, Ohio State University, 2013

“Whether you start a business, or run for office, or devote yourself to alleviating poverty or hunger, please remember that nothing worth doing happens overnight… if you are living your life to the fullest, you will fail, you will stumble, you will screw up, you will fall down. But it will make you stronger, and you’ll get it right the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that.”

4. Chris Matthews, Fordham University, 2006

“If you want to play a game, go to where it’s played and find a way to get in. Things happen when you get in the game.”

5. Ray Bradbury, California Institute of Technology, 2000

“Whatever it is-whatever it is, do it! Sure there are going to be mistakes. Everything’s not going to be perfect. I’ve written thousands of words that no one will ever see. I had to write them in order to get rid of them. But then I ‘ve written a lot of other stuff too. So the good stuff stays, and the old stuff goes.”

6. Jon Stewart, The College of William and Mary, 2004

“So how do you know what is the right path to choose to get the result that you desire? And the honest answer is this: you won’t. And accepting that greatly eases the anxiety of your life experience.”

7. Aaron Sorkin, Syracuse University, 2012

“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.”

8. Tina Fey, Fieldston High School, 2008

“Follow your fear, which in improv usually leads to someone making you sing an improvised song or rap, which is the worst thing that can happen. But the larger thing is the notion that if something scares you a bit, it means that you should follow it a little bit. Now, ‘follow your fear’ does not mean that you should get in the car with a weirdo in a small parking lot. But it does mean that there are moments in your life when something comes up, a chance to move to a new city, or the chance to study in another continent, read your short story out loud, and you feel a lot of fear. And that fear means that you should definitely do it.”

9. Neil Gaiman, The University of the Arts of Philadelphia, 2012

“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”

10. Kurt Vonnegut, Rice University, 1998

“One thing which Uncle Alex found objectionable about human beings was that they seldom took time out to notice when they were happy. He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and he would interrupt the conversation to say, ‘If this isn’t nice, what is?’ So, I hope that you Adams and Eves in front of me will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud: “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

11. Bonus: Billy Madison, 1995

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