Pocket Roundup: The Best Commencement Speeches and New Grad Advice of the Decade


The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, which can only mean one thing on college campuses… Graduation season is here! We at Team Pocket offer all new grads our congratulations — and a treasure trove of wise, heartfelt, and occasionally humorous advice as you start your next chapter.

Jeff Bezos, Princeton University, 2010

“Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard.”

Conan O’Brien, Dartmouth College, 2011

“There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized.”

Arianna Huffington, Sarah Lawrence College, 2011

“A key component of wisdom is fearlessness, which is not the absence of fear, but rather not letting our fears get in the way.”

Neil Gaiman, University of the Arts, 2012

“Be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.”

Nipun Mehta, University of Pennsylvania, 2012

“Don’t just go through life, grow through life. Make it a point to acknowledge mystery and welcome rich questions.”

Drew Houston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013

“If you’re not swerving around and hitting the guard rails every now and then, you’re not going fast enough.”

Joss Whedon, Wesleyan University, 2013

“You do not pass through this life, it passes through you. You experience it, you interpret it, you act, and then it is different.”

George Saunders, Syracuse University, 2013

“Since your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now.”

Best Commencement Advice from the World’s Most Powerful Women

Moira Forbes, Forbes
Whether they’re sitting at the helm of multi-billion dollar corporations or reigning supreme in the world of fashion, these ten power women share insights that have scaled far beyond the graduating classes for which they were intended.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You

Charles Wheelan, The Wall Street Journal
“Marry someone smarter than you are. Read obituaries. Don’t model your life after a circus animal.”

Hats off to you, Class of 2014!