Where did Taylor Swift graduate from? College and education explored as popstar receives honorary doctorate from NYU

Taylor Swift was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts by NYU this Wednesday (Image via Seth Wenig/AP Photo)
Taylor Swift was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts by NYU this Wednesday (Image via Seth Wenig/AP Photo)

When Taylor Swift said that she "really want[ed] an honorary doctorate degree" in her "73 Questions with Vogue" interview in 2016, she might not have imagined in her wildest dreams that her wish would come true six years later.

Cue New York University bestowing the 32-year-old with an honorary doctorate in fine arts, making her a part of the graduating class of 2022. Taylor Swift, or Dr. Swift as we may call her now, was also given the honor of delivering the commencement speech for the ceremony held at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, May 18.

Taylor Swift's educational background explored

Taylor Swift's excitement for the graduation ceremony was palpable in a reel she posted on her Instagram and TikTok. It was made even more obvious by her relevation in the caption that this would be the very first time she donned a cap and gown.

In her commencement speech, the popstar explained that she had never attended college amidst the whirlwind of kick-starting her career at the tender age of 15. However, she had always yearned for a "normal college experience" as a child, adding:

"I never got to have the normal college experience, per se. I went to public high school until tenth grade and finished my education doing homeschool work on the floors of airport terminals...As a kid, I always thought I would go away to college, imagining the posters I’d hang on the wall of my freshmen dorm."

Although Taylor Swift started her high school education at Hendersonville High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee, she transferred to Aaron Academy after her sophomore year. The latter allowed her to be homeschooled so she could juggle school and her blooming career. Never one to be bogged down, Swift managed to graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA, and she even graduated a year early.

However, the desire to "get a college degree… somehow, someway" lingered within her, making its way onto her bucket list. Taylor Swift hasn't been able to attain a college degree the traditional way, but her wish may have been fulfilled to some degree by way of this honorary doctorate degree.

Highlights from Taylor Swift's commencement speech

Taylor Swift's commencement speech was as inspiring and emotional as it was witty and funny. The songstress thanked NYU for making her "technically, on paper at least, a doctor," joking how she wouldn't be the type of doctor people would want around in emergencies unless they were specifically related to catchy songwriting or naming an absurd number of cat breeds.

Offering what she deemed to be 'life hacks' rather than blanket unsolicited advice, Swift said:

"Life can be heavy, especially if you try to carry it all at once. Part of growing up and moving into new chapters of your life is about catch and release. What I mean by that is, knowing what things to keep, and what things to release...Decide what is yours to hold and let the rest go... You get to pick what your life has time and room for. Be discerning."

Taylor Swift also imparted an incredibly valuable lesson about unlearning the shame around being eager and willing to put in effort:

"I’m a big advocate for not hiding your enthusiasm for things. It seems to me that there is a false stigma around eagerness in our culture of 'unbothered ambivalence'... Never be ashamed of trying. Effortlessness is a myth."

Swift placed a harsh truth before the graduates stating that perfectionists like themselves will inevitably "screw it up sometimes," but followed it up with the reassurance that one's mistakes don't equal failure. She said:

"You will screw it up sometimes. So will I. We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it. As long as we are fortunate enough to be breathing, we will breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out. And I’m a doctor now, so I know how breathing works."

The singer-songwriter ended her speech with a fitting nod to the lyrics of her song 22, inviting the graduating class to "keep dancing like we're the Class of '22."

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Edited by Mohini Banerjee
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