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Mar 21, 2011
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It’s graduation season! Painom ka!

Befriending dudes and wooing girls, learning and trying new stuff good and bad: it’s been a very pragmatic couple of years. It sure is sad to have to leave the simple student life, and college memories are almost always the best.

The next step would be to look for a job, get over your college hangover real quick, and maybe start being independent for a change. The premise is it’ll be a challenge, but then again why shouldn't it be?

Good news is there’s the in-between we call graduation day, which is the tipping point between being a student and being an adult citizen. Some really moving things happen on that day, you know.

So in the spirit of the graduation season, here are 8 heartrending speeches that it will help you prepare for the real world:

Lisa Kudrow’s Speech at Vassar College
A Biology student in the mid-80s, Friends star Lisa Kudrow somehow decided to become an actress only months after graduating, all while working for her physician father. Success didn’t come right away, getting rejected on shows and sitcoms that did not get picked up. Friends from the business however told her she’s talented, and Lisa then decided to believe they were right.

Why It Rocks: Lisa wanted to sound timid about her success as a celebrity, but she sure was comfortable talking about her letdowns than her triumph. She shares the wonders of being a multiple-time underdog in any industry, and the great process of rising from rock bottom.

Words of Wisdom: “It was a good thing I didn’t get all these shows. Every disappointment that happened, they were actually more like guide posts that kept me on my path. Thank God I got fired!”

Conan O’Brien’s Speech at Harvard University
A Harvard History and Literature major and graduating as magna cum laude, Conan has ventured into television writing on shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons before landing a life-changing gig as late night host. Conan revealed all the failures and jobless moments he had in between, telling the students to learn how to laugh at yourself even in the darkest of times.

Why It Rocks: Conan practices what he is preaching in the first place, making a fool of his own success story before getting there. He admits to being nostalgic to the bad as much as the good, but he somehow revealed life’s cruelties in the most light-hearted and humor-filled manner.

Words of Wisdom: “[On getting the Late Night hosting job] I had the relaxed confidence of someone who knew he had no real shot. So I couldn’t fear of losing a great job that I had never had, that I couldn’t hope to have. And I think that attitude actually made the difference.”


Next: A billionaire and a local government official