Do you remember your commencement speaker? Exactly. You probably mostly remember being hungover, or supremely excited to graduate. Or, you might have been thinking about how much you don't want to enter the real world. Or, in my case, about how on earth you were going to find a job in the middle of a hideous recession.
Commencement speeches usually fall on deaf (drunk) ears, and some of them are truly inspirational and fun to watch. You don't normally get to watch comedians or businesspeople you love give advice or talk about their pasts, and it can be uplifting and a great nod to their humanity.
Congratulations to the class of 2015. You don't have to finish four years of exams to watch these.
Shonda Rhimes at Dartmouth, 2014.
"Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change." - Shonda Rhimes
The television mogul and powerhouse wowed Dartmouth graduates last year discussing her dreams, the myth of having it all, and above all else, putting in the hard work.
David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College, 2005.
"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day."
David Foster Wallace's famous "This Is Water" commencement speech turns ten this year, and it's not less poignant or beautiful.
Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane, 2009.
"Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else's path unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that." -Ellen DeGeneres
DeGeneres tells incredible jokes, but drives home the importance of being true to yourself, and not being afraid to go for what you want.
Amy Poehler at Harvard, 2011.
"Try putting your iPhones down every once in a while and look at people's faces." - Amy Poehler
Calling our cell phone addiction four years ago, Poehler also discusses the importance of finding a great group of friends and confidantes, as she did in her comedy career.
Overall takeaways: find your tribe, be yourself, think about your surroundings and the banality of life, and don't try to be Toni Morrison.