What Are Some Inspiring TED Talks You Should Watch As A University Student?

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco.

Last updated Jun 30, 2020

During your time at university, you will realise that every day is a learning experience. This pursuit of knowledge will lead you to many textbooks, lectures, tutorials.. and even blogs on “What Are Some Inspiring TED Talks You Should Watch As A University Student?” 

Most entrepreneurs will tell you that the best knowledge is not derived from books but people and experiences. Although the classroom plays a vital role in students’ learning process, in my opinion, it is not the only place where real learning takes place. Correct me if I’m wrong but familiarity with the periodic table these days has much more to do with the popularity of Breaking Bad than with chemistry classes.

Knowledge can very well be acquired by watching videos of inspirational people who’ve talked the talk AND walked the walk. The undermentioned TedX speakers have been where you are right now. Scared, probably in a new country, thinking about how to leave your mark at university. Use their insights and experiences to navigate through the tricky waters, that is university. 

Here is a list of some of the most inspiring Ted talks. This Ted talks playlist captures every sphere of university life.

Shane Koyczan: To This Day…For the Bullied and Beautiful

Shane Koyczan talks about a topic that students all over the world can relate to – Bullying. Surveys show that a fifth of young people in the UK have been victims of bullying. A study conducted by Ditch the Label concludes that three out of four people who were bullied said it affected their mental health and nearly half became depressed. Shane Koyczan explains, through poetry, how bullying eats up someone from the inside to the point they no longer feel like themselves. He also brings up an interesting point that the bullied have the potential to develop heightened senses of emotional connectedness and empathy, something that is incredibly rare in the world today. 

Casey Neistat: High School Stories

You might know Casey Neistat as a YouTube megastar or that guy who made that insane Nike video. But what most of you’ll don’t know is how he got his start. In this Ted talk, Casey delves into his early life as a 16-year-old parent who was terrible at studies/sports and was destined to fail in life. But what saved him from falling into this inevitable pitfall was his knack of saying yes to opportunities, no matter how far-fetched they were. He sheds some light on his decision to leave home as a young 20-year-old and move to New York. His journey, here on out, is simply unbelievable. Saying “yes” to various opportunities along the way led him to various gigs that have made him the star he is today. Listening to this talk will definitely better equip you to handle whatever curveball life throws at you.

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

In this ted talk (that’s already been watched over 26 million times), Susan Cain speaks about what it is like to be an introvert. She starts by mentioning her experience at Summer School, where she was nudged towards the path of being an extrovert despite having no qualms about being the introvert she’s been all her life. Later on in life, she realises that we, as a society, follow a culture where being outgoing and social are prized above all else. She goes as far as saying it can be painful, even shameful, to be an introvert. She cites many examples of successful introverts like Gandhi, Theodor Geisel and Steve Wozniak who’ve shone in life only because they were left to their own devices. Imagine what would have happened if someone forced them to come out of their shells just to conform to a world that’s been built for extroverts.

Andy Puddicombe: All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes

University students are constantly required to be on their A-game. They have to attend classes, complete assignments, participate in extracurricular activities and by the end of the day, are required to cook their own food before going to bed. The physical toll on one’s body is apparent, but most people do not realise the mental toll of all these activities. Your brain is constantly working hard to keep up with your fast-paced life. If students are exposed to this kind of lifestyle for a long time, it can have detrimental effects on their mental wellbeing. This is precisely what Andy Puddicombe proclaims. He believes in taking 10 minutes out of your day to live in the present. Giving your brain some rest is important to function at your optimum level. In this talk, Puddicombe explains the wonders of taking just 10 minutes of doing nothing but taking in your surroundings.

Matt Cutts: Try Something New For 30 Days

Are you sick and tired of your same old boring, mundane routine? Well, Matt Cutts sure was. And he did something about it. Matt took it upon himself to try something new for 30 days. His main aim was to add some variety to his life. In this talk, he explains that if you are a physics student, consider taking up an art class. This will not only arm you with a new skill set but also give you a much-needed break from your usual routine. Besides, it takes approximately 30 days to develop something into a habit. So, if you’ve always wanted to be regular at the gym or cultivate a habit of reading, here’s your chance! Keep at it for the next 30 days, and you’ll be rewarded with a brand new habit.  

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