22 Celebrities That Gave Some Great Life Advice While Delivering Graduation Speeches

List Rules
Vote up the best advice.

While commencement speeches are always inspirational, something about a celebrity giving candid advice to the youth is captivating. From Conan O'brien to Mindy Kaling to Tom Hanks, these nuggets of wisdom are refreshing.


  • 1
    126 VOTES

    Jim Carrey - Maharishi University of Management, 2014

    "I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

  • 2
    155 VOTES

    Mr. Rogers - Dartmouth, 2002

    Mr. Rogers - Dartmouth, 2002
    Photo: Dartmouth / YouTube

    “You don't ever have to do anything sensational for people to love you. When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see, or hear, or touch. That deep part of you, that allows you to stand for those things, without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate. Peace that rises triumphant over war. And justice that proves more powerful than greed.”

  • 3
    151 VOTES

    Matthew McConaughey - University Of Houston, 2015

    Matthew McConaughey - University Of Houston, 2015
    Photo: Decent Ape / YouTube

    “Life’s not easy. Don’t try and make it that way. It’s not fair, it never was, it isn’t now, it won’t ever be. Do not fall into the entitlement trap of feeling you are a victim, you are not. Get over it and get on with it. And yes, most things are more rewarding when you break a sweat to get them.”

  • 4
    187 VOTES

    Will Ferrell - University of Southern California, 2017

    Will Ferrell - University of Southern California, 2017
    Photo: USC / YouTube

    “For those of you, as graduates, sitting out there who have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to do with your life, congratulations. For many of you, who maybe don’t have it figured out, it’s OK. That’s the same chair I sat in. Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result. Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard, don’t listen to the critics, and you will figure it out.”

  • 5
    121 VOTES

    Steve Carell - Princeton University, 2012

    Steve Carell - Princeton University, 2012
    Photo: Amanda Hernandez / YouTube

    "Every once in a while, put something positive into the world. We have become so cynical these days. And by we, I mean us. So do something kind, make someone laugh, and don't take yourself too seriously."

  • 6
    82 VOTES

    John Krasinski - Brown University, 2019

    John Krasinski - Brown University, 2019
    Photo: Brown University / YouTube

    "Remember to be scared. You’ve been scared before, you’ll be scared again. Find more of your people. Lean all the way in. Take chances. Fail big and take chances again. Listen to music. Remember to believe in something. And fall in love as many times as it takes. And remember, before you do something special, just do something."