What We Learned From These Inspiring Speeches About Education
Generation Zen

What We Learned From These Inspiring Speeches About Education

Being a student will be one of the best years of your life. But when you’re knee-deep with exams and deadlines, you can’t help but think about giving up. Chin up, guys! More often than not, you just need to shake the pressure away and take some daily dose of inspiration to get you back on track!

Here are nuggets of wisdom from awe-inspiring people like Ellen DeGeneres and J.K. Rowling to spark the light inside you:

1. Be the kind of person you imagined yourself to be.

“Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path and by all means, you should follow that. Don’t give advice, it will come back and bite you in the ass. Don’t take anyone’s advice. So my advice to you is to be true to yourself and everything will be fine.”- Ellen DeGeneres, 2009 Tulane University

Just for a second or two, forget about everyone else. Unplug from social media if you must. Close your eyes and think about the things that excite you like baking or reading chemistry books. Shortly after, do it, just because.

Stay true to yourself by following your own instincts and desires in life despite what other people will think. Got a flair for fashion? Go and get yourself a fashion degree. So you have a passion for law and music at the same time? Sing your way to the courts then. This is your life you’re living in. Own it.

2. Say yes to new things.

“You’re not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you’re going to learn after you leave here.”- Charlie Munger, 2007 University of California Law School

Take that belly dancing class. Go and take a flight lesson. Run for president in a local book club. Volunteer to save the seas! There are so many things you can do that will stretch your courage and imagination. Trust us, these unexpected moments in your life will mold you into a better person. Learning, after all, goes beyond the four walls of the classroom. 

Side note: Saying yes to everything is different. At the end of the day, you still have to know your limits. Take calculated risks!

3. Carve your own path.

“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant.”- Jim Carrey, 2014 Maharishi University of Management

A much better route than taking the less road traveled is carving a path of your own. If you’re ever torn between your passion and practicality, follow the path that will bring out the best in you. When your choice goes against the will of your parents, try talking to them and explain your side of things—hoping that they will understand. Sooner or later, you will realize that there’s no designated path that you really have to follow except yours. 

4. This is not the last time you will face rejection.

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. 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.”– J.K Rowling, 2008 Harvard Commencement Address

Sometimes, we fall short in things we do and it’s okay. You will not make it to your dream school. You will not be called back to the audition. Failing may be part of a student’s life—our lives—but never let it define your worth. It just means you have to try again and do better. 

5. See the world.

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?” – David Foster Wallace, 2005 Kenyon Graduation Speech

The world is so much bigger than our tiny bubbles. Try not to clip your own wings and allow yourself to fly outside your comfort zone. Travel to new places. Or simply go around your neighborhood. Start by trying a different route going home. Or by walking on the other side of the road. Read today’s newspaper. Smile at people—it’s free.

We hope these words of wisdom inspire you to take risks and embrace the unexpected moments in your student life. Look forward to better things. Take deep breaths and you will be alright!

Want more tips and advice on how you can be your best self in school? Read more articles like this on the Generation Zen blog section at Edukasyon.ph now!