The end of May and June marks graduation for millions of students around the world. These students are eager to make their mark in a new phase of life, whether it’s at university or in the real world.
Most of these graduations, especially at universities, will feature a keynote speaker charged with inspiring the graduates and entertaining the families. Many of these speeches will be what graduates want and expect to hear, filled with platitudes and clichés, such as “follow your dreams or passion,” “you have unlimited potential,” or “today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
While this approach is inspiring in the moment, the best speeches I have heard are the ones that deliver unconventional wisdom and give a bit of tough love—these are the things new grads need to hear. Here are a few of my favorites that fit this bill.