If you don’t feel like going out, don’t. Stay in and curse modern
dating, as if apps were the reason you can’t meet anyone (it’s
definitely not the fact that you correct everyone about “less” versus
“fewer”). Stay in, order a calzone, and make some good points on Reddit
about the plot holes in Home Alone 2. Or stay out till 2 A.M. with your
second fling of the month. No one cares what you do, and that freedom is
a beautiful thing: No one cares if you get home late, no one cares if
you set your alarm to go off at 6:00, 6:15, 6:22, and 6:30 because you
were out late enjoying someone’s naughty bits and you might oversleep.
“May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us
find the courage to make our lives a blessing.”
How many of you remember exactly what you were doing when you got that
email telling you that you got into Harvard? I was playing Civilization
and I ran downstairs, got my dad, and for some reason, his reaction was
to video me opening the email. That could have been a really sad video.
I swear getting into Harvard is still the thing my parents are most
proud of me for.
That doesn‘t mean I don’t plan on dating other people in future — I
definitely do。 But I know now that the relationship I‘ve built with
myself is a model for the relationship I want to be in。 I’m kind and
patient and gentle and loving and forgiving of myself。 I laugh at my
mistakes and I let go of my errors。 I am strong and courageous。 That‘s
the kind of person I want to be with and the type of relationship I hope
to be in。
A couple years in, some big companies wanted to buy us. I didn’t
want to sell. I wanted to see if we could connect more people. We were
building the first News Feed, and I thought if we could just launch
this, it could change how we learn about the world.
The good news about being single is that it doesn’t matter what I—or
anyone else—wants you to do with your time or how hot (or not) they find
it. It’s your time. That’s the beauty of being single. It’s all your
time. You don’t have to go watch your partner’s new short film that you
didn’t get and they don’t have to show up to your rec league soccer
games where you get too aggressive and it kind of makes them
uncomfortable. Get your hobbies going now so that you have a full life
once you start dating. You don’t want to be that couple who always is
together all the time, doing couple activities. (The only thing less
sexy than a hobby is a couple activity. Excluding, of course, sex.)
In a survey asking millennials around the world what defines our
identity, the most popular answer wasn’t nationality, religion or
ethnicity, it was “citizen of the world”. That’s a big deal.
It’s easy to do. Even if you enjoyed your Tinder years, by the time
you’re in a solid relationship for a while, some small part of you will
miss the instability and freedom of being Not Taken. So in the meantime,
capitalize on being single by doing the following:
So taking on big meaningful projects is the first thing we can do to
create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.
Get a new hobby
We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic
metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find
meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give
everyone a cushion to try new things. We’re going to change jobs many
times, so we need affordable childcare to get to work and healthcare
that aren’t tied to one company. We’re all going to make mistakes, so
we need a society that focuses less on locking us up or stigmatizing
us. And as technology keeps changing, we need to focus more on
continuous education throughout our lives.
Now is your time to start therapy, or end toxic friendships, or work on
your short fuse, or examine how your childhood traumas are holding you
back from making a commitment. I don’t know. Whatever it is, don’t wait
until you have someone phenomenal in your life and then drop that stuff
in their lap, hoping they’ll help you do the emotional labor.
These achievements are within our reach. Let’s do them all in a way that
gives everyone in our society a role. Let’s do big things, not only to
create progress, but to create purpose.
I realize this may sound super dorky。 You‘re probably thinking that I
must be pretty weird and very lonely。 Interestingly enough， I was way
more lonely before I started spending time alone。 The feeling like I
needed to be around people all the time to take a deep breath — that
was loneliness。 The feeling of complete anxiety and fear when a
boyfriend broke up with me — that was loneliness。 But this？ This is
peace。 This is fun。 This is what self-esteem is built of。 Here’s how
I learned to spend time alone。
Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than
ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to
work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.
Being single, much like a wrinkle-free neck and the illusion that
nuclear war won’t happen in your lifetime, is something you often don’t
appreciate enough until it’s gone. Many people feel that to be single is
to be alone and to be alone is to be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be
that way. It shouldn’t be that way! Once you’re over the requisite
16-month honeymoon period and you’ve alienated all your friends with
your amorous drivel, you’re going to settle into a nice boring holding
pattern of love. With it will come the realization: Holy shit, I wasted
We understand the great arc of human history bends towards people
coming together in ever greater numbers — from tribes to cities to
nations — to achieve things we couldn’t on our own.
I‘m not the slightest bit embarrassed to say out loud that I’ve been
dating myself and it‘s been the most nurturing， sustainable， and
non-anxiety inducing relationship I’ve ever had。 There‘s no waiting to
be texted back （or obsessing about if my text is too flirty， too
needy， too wordy）， and there’s no feeling like another person just
doesn‘t understand me。
Revel in potential
Congratulations, Class of ’17! Good luck out there.
I take myself on dates。 I go to the movies alone。 I wander museums
alone。 I eat meals alone （and yes， that means I resist all temptation
to scroll through Instagram while waiting for my meal）。 I sit in
coffee shops and journal alone。 I take the train and go to new towns
and walk around alone。
I know it seems like I keep telling you to work out, but this one isn’t
actually about that. It’s just about staying engaged. Do things that
make you feel good. I’m not suggesting at all that once you start dating
someone any of these things need to stop, but right now you get to eat
what you want every single night. You get to go to the bar you like
every single time. So use all your energy to build up a life you do
want. If you like traveling and can afford it, go somewhere alone. Start
a side business. Buy a new couch without any input from someone else.
Keep your life moving.
Purpose doesn’t only come from work. The third way we can create a sense
of purpose for everyone is by building community. And when our
generation says “everyone”, we mean everyone in the world.
Indulge your sloth
This isn’t going to be decided at the UN either. It’s going to happen at
the local level, when enough of us feel a sense of purpose and stability
in our own lives that we can open up and start caring about everyone.
The best way to do that is to start building local communities right
3.Schedule It。 And don‘t cancel on yourself。
Revel in that. Because along with that hope often come disappointments,
which are much easier to focus on. Once you’re dating someone, nights
out are pretty similar to nights in. What are you doing at a bar other
than paying more for alcohol? Are you really making an effort to meet
new people (as friends!) at the bar, or are you, like most relationship
people, kind of just floating in contentment? It’s lovely if you are out
there just to meet new people platonically, but be honest: A night out
will never be as exciting as when you’re single and you’ve bought into
the idea that “anything can happen.”
First, let’s take on big meaningful projects.
1.I just did it。 And let go of trying to look “cool”。
One of the best parts about being single is how every single night out,
every single trip to the grocery store, and every single vacation feels
laden with hope. You might just smooch a hottie! You might even go home
with a hottie! This could be it! The night the sexy bartender at your
favorite bar finally realizes that they’ve been in love with you and
your impressive drink order all along!
President Faust, Board of Overseers,** faculty**, alumni,
friends, proud parents, members of the ad board, and graduates of the
greatest university in the world,
The word “hobby” sucks. Almost nothing you can call a hobby is hot. Once
you call something a hobby, it becomes nerdy. Basically, instead of a
hobby, just work out more. (Kidding! Mostly.)
In our society, we often don’t do big things because we’re so afraid of
making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do
nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future.
But that can’t keep us from starting.
For the past year， I‘ve been single by choice。 Not by circumstance。
Not because no one will ask me out or I can’t find anyone eligible。
It‘s hard for some people to believe that I am choosing not to date，
and I often get weird looks and confused grunts from my old aunt and
college friends alike。 Why would someone voluntarily choose to stay
single？ To spend time alone？ Aren’t I missing out on life by not going
on Tinder dates？ What if The One is out there but I don‘t catch him
because I’m too busy staying single？
That was my hardest time leading Facebook. I believed in what we were
doing, but I felt alone. And worse, it was my fault. I wondered if I was
just wrong, an imposter, a 22 year-old kid who had no idea how the
Actually, any of you graduating can use that line.
2.Make a list of your favorite things。 And don‘t wait for anyone。
Quick show of hands: how many of you are from another country? Now, how
many of you are friends with one of these folks? Now we’re talking. We
have grown up connected.
I remember the night I launched Facebook from my little dorm in Kirkland
House. I went to Noch’s with my friend KX. I remember telling him I was
excited to connect the Harvard community, but one day someone would
connect the whole world.
I know now that I‘m not going into the relationship as a half， I’m
going in as a whole。 So whether it works out or doesn‘t work out， deep
down， I haven’t lost anything。 I‘m still me。 I’m still complete。 I
still have the friendship I‘ve built with the me that I’ve grown to know
and love over the past 23 years。 That‘s the greatest relief I’ve ever
If I had to understand everything about connecting people before I
began, I never would have started Facebook.
I was **blown away. **Here’s a young guy who has every reason to be
cynical. He didn’t know if the country he calls home — the only one
he’s known — would deny him his dream of going to college. But he wasn’t
feeling sorry for himself. He wasn’t even thinking of himself. He has a
greater sense of purpose, and he’s going to bring people along with him.
I’m an unlikely speaker, not just because I dropped outca888亚洲城娱乐场 ，, but because
we’re technically in the same generation. We walked this yard less than
a decade apart, studied the same ideas and slept through the same
Ec10 lectures. We may have taken different paths to get here, especially
if you came all the way from the Quad, but today I want to share
what I’ve learned about our generation and the world we’re building
Last year I took him out to breakfast for his birthday. I wanted to get
him a present, so I asked him and he started talking about students he
saw struggling and said “You know, I’d really just like a book on social
And yes, giving everyone the freedom to pursue purpose isn’t free.
People like me should pay for it. Many of you will do well and you
Remember when I told you about that class I taught at the Boys and Girls
Club? One day after class I was talking to them about college, and one
of my top students raised his hand and said he wasn’t sure he could go
because he’s undocumented. He didn’t know if they’d let him in.
That’s why Priscilla and I started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and
committed our wealth to promoting equal opportunity. These are the
values of our generation. It was never a question of if we were going to
do this. The only question was when.
Every generation has its defining works. More than 300,000 people worked
to put a man on the moon – including that janitor. Millions of
volunteers immunized children around the world against polio.
Millions of more people built the Hoover dam and other great projects.
We’ve all started lifelong friendships here, and some of us even
families. That’s why I’m so grateful to this place. Thanks, Harvard.