These are 2017’s most inspirational commencement speeches to remind you college is worth it

‘And I challenge you to choose freedom over fear’

As graduation season comes to a close on college campuses, read below to hear the most inspirational  quotes from the most impactful graduation speakers across the country. These speeches will make you think twice about politics and want to make a change in the world.

Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard: 

“Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.”

Joe Biden, Cornell University:

“The idea that we are somehow behind the 8-ball, it’s time for the country to wake up, and ladies and gentleman, the graduating class of 2017, go out and wake us up. God bless you all. God bless the troops.”

Octavia Spencer, Kent State University: 

“Don’t let yourself get caught up in the trap of comparison,” she said. “Ignore the silly ‘30 under 30’ lists that the Internet throws at you before you even have your morning cup of coffee, those will be the bane of your existence post-graduation. Trust me. Comparing yourself to others’ success only slows you down from finding your own. Remember, no one came here the same way, and you won’t all achieve the success the same way.”

Kumail Nanjiani, Grinnell College:

“You can go slow. Allow your dreams and goals to change, but live an intentional life.”

Howard Schultz, Arizona State University:

“Summon your compassion, your curiosity, your empathy towards others and your commitment to service. Give more than you receive and I promise you, it will come back to you in ways you can’t possibly imagine.”

Sheryl Sandberg, Virginia Tech:

“The most important thing I learned is that we are not born with a certain amount of resilience. It is a muscle, and that means we can build it. We build resilience into ourselves. We build resilience into the people we love. And we build it together, as a community. That’s called “collective resilience.” It’s an incredibly powerful force — and it’s one that our country and our world need a lot more of right about now. It is in our relationships with each other that we find our will to live, our capacity to love, and our ability to bring change into this world.”


President Donald Trump, Liberty University:

“The more people tell you it’s not possible, that it can’t be done, the more you should be absolutely determined to prove them wrong. Treat the word ‘impossible’ as nothing more than motivation.”

Elizabeth Warren, UMass Amherst: 

“No matter what other work you do, every day, if you find the issues that matter to you and you get in the fight, you will build a life with more heart flutters and fewer don’t-make-me-move moments.”

Will Ferrell, University of Southern California: 

“No matter how cliché it may sound, you will never truly be successful until you learn to give beyond yourself. Empathy and kindness are the true signs of emotional intelligence.”

Hillary Clinton, Wellesley: 


“I believe with all my heart that the future of America, indeed the future of the world, depends on brave, thoughtful people like you insisting on truth and integrity right now every day. You didn’t create these circumstances, but you have the power to change them.”

Janelle Monáe, Dillard University:

“And I challenge you to choose freedom over fear.”

Pharrell William, NYU:

“You might think your time and education is done, but after you leave here today I’m asking you guys to let your actions out there in the world fuel the demand for the better, and accessible education.” He concluded: “I know that somebody out there right now in this class just might occupy the White House one day. And let me be clear: not red, and not blue, but maybe purple like NYU!”

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