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Octavia Spencer's Commencement Speech Congratulates New Grads

By: Mishal Omar - May 18, 2017
References: time & youtube
In the Octavia Spencer commencement speech at Kent State University, the actress gives the recent graduates advice on how to succeed, and what to look forward to, as they embark upon their continued education or new careers.

In her speech, the Oscar-winning actress reassures that their best years are ahead of them – countering the commonly held notion that people's years in university are often the best of their lives. She gives the grads many different pieces of advice, including being true to yourself, not comparing yourself to others, not letting people define you, not being shaped by either disappointments or accomplishments, the importance of defending your values, and above all – empathizing with others, as our voices are more powerful together and when they are diverse. She also emphasized knowing your values and self worth, referencing her career in which she was often confined to or offered roles in which she would play a maid or nurse. When she started saying no, better opportunities came to her and her career took off significantly.

In her commencement speech, Spencer encourages Kent State's 2017 grads to become the best version of themselves, and work as hard as possible to get there.