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The Un-Instagramable Self | Tara Westover Commencement Speech, Northeastern University

Tara Westover | Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

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Tara Westover - The Un-Instagramable Self | Northeastern Commencement Speech, May 2019 (Transcript)
Length: 19 mins

To see the full transcript, go here.

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Tara Westover urges graduates to embrace their ‘un-Instagrammable’ selves

The Commencement address by the author of the best-selling memoir Educated cautioned Northeastern graduates against defining themselves by the happy, perfect images they post online. The less attractive reality of their lives is far more valuable, she said.

Speakers:
TW - Tara Westover

TW: Hello, good morning. How are we feeling? It’s pretty good? That’s not too bad, actually. You’re definitely still awake.

TW: President Aoun, members of the Board, faculty, staff, and of course, all of you graduates, it is an honor to be with you this morning to celebrate this milestone, this kind of huge achievement. For you graduates, it’s going to be the accumulation of several years of hard work. For your parents, it’s a celebration of work that’s been put in for your whole lives, maybe even from before your lives. So I know you’ve thanked them already, but I’m going to have to thank them again, but I have a request: all the flags have to wave because they’re really beautiful. Thank you.

TW: Now, first, I’d just like to say that my being awarded this degree for a few minutes of public speaking in no way diminishes the many years of very hard work that you had to do to get yours. Actually, I haven’t ever given a commencement speech before. In fact, this is the largest crowd that I’ve ever spoken to by probably about 10 times. There’s a lot of you. There are many, many people here, so I was a little tense about that. And I’m not that much older than you, maybe 10 years. It was a kind of a scary thing.

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