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Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has received an honorary doctorate from New York University

Singer Taylor Swift receives her Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts during the New York University (NYU) graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, US, May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Singer Taylor Swift receives her Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts during the New York University (NYU) graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, US, May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Published May 19, 2022

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By Alicia Powell and Barbara Goldberg

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift received an honorary doctorate from New York University on Wednesday and told graduates that everything would be all right, echoing the sentiments of her hit single “Shake It Off”.

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The 32-year-old urged students to make the most of their choices. “Life can be heavy - especially if you try to carry it all at once... all the grudges, all the updates on your ex.... You get to pick what your life has time and room for.”

Singer Taylor Swift attends the New York University (NYU) graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, US, May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

“I have some good news: it’s totally up to you. I have some terrifying news: it’s totally up to you,” she added, dressed in a purple robe and black mortarboard at the graduation ceremony in Yankee Stadium.

Taylor continued: “You will look back on your life and cringe retrospectively. Cringe is unavoidable over the course of a lifetime... You can’t avoid it so don’t try to – for the entirety of 2012 I dressed like a 1950s housewife.”

The “Love Story” hitmaker also spoke about the challenges of being a young woman in the music industry, such as “constantly being issued warnings” and how she felt that needed to be the “perfect young female role model” or else she would end up in “pop star jail”.

Taylor also mentioned getting “cancelled” - when Kanye West and his then-wife Kim Kardashian alleged that she was lying about consenting to lyrics on his 2016 track “Famous” - and how it gave her “excellent knowledge” of her wine rack.

She said: “Getting cancelled on the internet and almost losing my career gave me an excellent knowledge of all the types of wine.”

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She praised the graduates for taking on the challenge of attending college during a pandemic. “Never be ashamed of trying - effortlessness is a myth,” Swift said.

The Grammy winner was among three recipients of honorary degrees from the university. It was the first college degree for Swift, who performed in concert tours while in high school.

NYU offers a course on Taylor Swift, including her evolution as a creative music entrepreneur.

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