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May 15, 2020 7 mins

In this episode of Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, award-winning singer/songwriter Halsey takes some time to offer words of encouragement and motivation for the graduating class of 2020.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Commencement Speeches for the Class of twenty is a production
of I Heart Radio. Class of Parents, faculty, rising graduates,
Welcome to commencement. You made it. This year is a

little different, a difficult time to graduate because the traditional
graduation day has been put on hold. So we're bringing
it to you wherever you are, because this is still
your day, your moment, and now put your hands together.
It's time to be inspired. This year's commencement speaker the
one and only Halsey. Yeah, Hi, I'm Halsey, and I

am so honored to have this opportunity to speak to
the graduating class of It's very confusing time in the world,
but for a moment, I just would like to share
some advice that has helped me navigate my life and
my career. I asked a mentor of mine what the
key to success was, and they told me making the decision.

And I said to them, well, that seems like a
pretty cheap answer. I mean, of course, making the right
decision will lead you to success, but how do you
know that you made the right decision? And then corrected me.
I didn't say making the right decision, I said making
the decision. They told me it doesn't matter if it

is right or wrong. Action is always better than in action.
Our fear of making the wrong decision often stops us
from making any decision at all. But don't be fooled
into thinking indecision is safety. For the unknown is a
bigger monster than the knowledge of your own failure. In

the ES, the average grocery store had about six thousand
items available for purchase, and today there are an average
of seven hundred and sixty six grocery stores per state
in the USA and around fifty tho items available for
purchase at each of them. That's a lot of stuff
to choose from. You could buy foods you never even

knew existed. You could make meals that you never dreamed of.
I mean, if you find the right ingredients. Sounds exhausting right, well,
you are the generation of endless choice. Lucky you. You
know a large percentage of our parents married someone who
grew up within five miles of them. In two only

seventeen percent of married couples in Philadelphia included a partner
from another city. But not for you. Dating apps and
social media have given you the opportunity to swipe left
or right until your fingers bleed and the clock strikes twelve,
and you can't really remember what type of person you
were even into to begin with. I mean, seven bill

in people at your fingertips, you could have any one
of them with the touch of a button and the
right profile picture and here photos with puppies or a
particular edge these days, so with so many options that
your will, how are you supposed to make the decision?
And honestly, with so many factors at play, how are
you supposed to even know who you are? I mean

hours of scrolling through food delivery service and you can't
remember if you even like sushi or if you've just
seen so many pictures of it, and that shiny toro
looks just too good to resist. I mean, usually you're
a Nike guy, but the Amazon page just has so
many choices of Adida sneakers and then deliver the next day.
So which of these things are you? And which of

them are just a product of decision fatigue? You the
child of the internet, pop up, television clearance, commercial online shopping,
cellphone dating, postmates generation. The freedom to choose can often
feel less like a freedom at all and more like
a detriment. With so many choices available to you comes

the fear of making the wrong one. But the truth
is the system was already broken before you entered it.
We mutated the convenience of choice so much that it
became a maze of possibility and anxiety and overthinking. It
feels like the constant fear that you're making the wrong
choice makes so many of us refrained from making any
choice at all. But any system that's broken can be

fixed with the right intent. So it's up to you
now to make those choices matter, and not by making
the right ones, but by exercising the courage and commitment
to make those decisions with vigor and autonomy, to make
your rightful identity as a citizen of the world to
take priority over your assigned identity as a consumer. You know,

since we were little kids, we've shown the world that
while we can be sold a lot of things, we
will never buy a dream. So choose firmly, choose willfully,
and cho confidently. Because what they don't tell you is
that there are two right choices. One is a direct
route to the right answer, and one is a process
of elimination that leads you there down a different path.

You know, if I had made the right choices, I
would have a very different life than the one that
I have now. So instead, I made the wrong ones,
or perhaps the ones that seemed wrong at the time,
but took me to the right ones through a journey
of failure and self actualization. And now the right choices
that I get to make right now would never have

been presented to me if I hadn't made the wrong
choices first, because they led me to better options than
I ever had to begin with, because they hardened me
along the way. I wasn't sold my dream. I chose
it by closing my eyes hard and picking what my
heart and my gut urged me to choose. You are

the generation of choice, and these options seek to confuse
and to distract you, But you must choose. Failure is inevitable,
but possibilities are endless. The only real failure is in action.
So take what you've learned because you've earned it, and
show the world that you can pioneer through a terrain

of possibilities laid before you, unafraid and uninhibited. You can
only collect potential in your imagination, but choices are tangible.
So instead of letting your belly rumble unfed and lost
in the produce aisles of the world, Distracted by choice,
and afraid of disappointment. Grab something off the shelf and

try it out. Just remember to wear your mask. Thank
you in congratulations to the class of I can't wait
to see where your choices take you. M You can

find a collection of incredible commencement addresses from all your
favorite speakers at the Commencement Podcast on I Heart Radio
or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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