Male Orator Min-Woo Park | Harvard Commencement 2016 | Summary and Q&A

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May 25, 2016
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Harvard University
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Male Orator Min-Woo Park | Harvard Commencement 2016

TL;DR

Procrastination is a common phenomenon among Harvard students, driven by the desire to escape difficult tasks. However, embracing human connection and prioritizing relationships can lead to valuable insights and personal growth.

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Key Insights

  • 🧑‍🎓 Procrastination is a common behavior among Harvard students, driven by the desire to avoid difficult tasks.
  • 🥺 Prioritizing relationships and social experiences over academic work can lead to personal growth and valuable insights.
  • 🔇 The speaker's experiences and interactions with others have shaped them and have the potential to positively impact their future endeavors.
  • 🖤 Procrastination can result in feelings of self-doubt and a lack of personal accomplishment, but the speaker believes it is worth it for the lessons learned from human connection.
  • 👯 The speaker encourages listeners to embrace the unexpected values that can be learned from the people around them.
  • 😀 Balancing personal work and engaging with others is a continuous challenge that individuals will face in various aspects of their lives.
  • 🙈 Procrastination should not be seen solely as a negative habit, but rather as an opportunity for personal development and connection.

Transcript

I have a pet squirrel and he lives in my head and every time I try to start that 12 page midterm paper due in a week that little squirrel climbs out of the depths of my mind and whispers one week that's basically an eon go get some Kong hang out with your block mates you haven't seen them in days two days left until that papers due and just as I'm ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do Harvard students tend to procrastinate?

According to the speaker's personal experience and a BuzzFeed article mentioned, procrastination is driven by the desire to avoid the painful or challenging nature of tasks. Students prioritize socializing and connecting with others as a means of escape.

Q: How has procrastination affected the speaker's college experience?

Procrastination has led the speaker to spend significant time socializing instead of studying or completing assignments. While this has resulted in a lack of personal accomplishment and self-doubt at times, the speaker believes that their interactions with others have been enriching and valuable.

Q: Has procrastination impacted the speaker's ability to succeed academically?

The speaker states that they may not be the most impressive student, but they have found success through their experiences and connections with others. While academically focused students may appear more diligent and accomplished, the speaker values the lessons and insights gained from engaging with their peers.

Q: How does procrastination influence the speaker's future plans?

Procrastination has taught the speaker the value of human connection and has fueled their motivation to make a positive impact on the world. They are inspired by the stories and experiences of their classmates and are driven to create change as a result of their interactions.

Summary

In this video, the speaker talks about his experiences and struggles with procrastination during his time at Harvard. He shares how he prioritized spending time with friends and socializing over studying and completing assignments. He reflects on the lessons he learned from the people around him and how they influenced him to be more driven and make an impact in the world.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why does the speaker procrastinate?

The speaker procrastinates because he wants to escape the painful task at hand. Procrastination serves as a means to avoid the anxiety and stress associated with the tasks he should be doing.

Q: How did the speaker's perspective on spending time with friends change during his time at Harvard?

Initially, the speaker was advised by upperclassmen to focus on the people at Harvard, which meant spending less time on academic work. At first, this was nerve-wracking for him as he was not used to prioritizing socializing over studying. However, as he started choosing to hang out with his friends, he realized that it was a valuable experience. Socializing became a way for him to learn from and connect with his peers.

Q: What impact did spending time with people have on the speaker?

The speaker found it enriching and satisfying to spend time with his friends and peers. He describes it as if they were one big storybook come alive. It made him feel incredibly rich because he learned so much about the people around him. However, he also felt a sense of emptiness and self-doubt, feeling inadequate compared to his accomplished classmates.

Q: Why did the speaker feel alone and incompetent despite being around friends?

The speaker felt alone and incompetent because he compared himself to his peers and believed that they were more diligent and focused on their studies. He experienced a lack of substance and self-consciousness, feeling that he was worth less than his classmates. He realized the unintentional belittling of himself due to the accomplishments of others.

Q: Did the speaker regret his choice of spending time with friends over academic work?

No, the speaker did not regret prioritizing spending time with friends. He might not have been the most impressive student with the best GPA or accolades, but he cherished the experiences and lessons learned from the people he interacted with. He believes that it shaped him and fueled his drive to make an impact in the world.

Q: What is the speaker's main reflection about his time at Harvard?

The speaker reflects that at the crossroads of balancing personal work and engaging with others, there will be a voice inside our heads. It is important to listen to that voice and consider the valuable lessons and perspectives we can gain from the people around us. He realizes the unexpected value of the stories and experiences shared by his classmates and believes they will stay with him for years to come.

Q: How did spending time with friends and procrastinating change the speaker's motivation?

Spending time with friends and procrastinating refocused the speaker's motivation. He became more driven to do something meaningful, to be someone who can change the world and leave an impact. The stories and experiences he shared with his peers inspired him and shaped his perspective on the value of human connections.

Q: What does the speaker conclude about the lessons he learned from procrastination and socializing?

The speaker concludes that despite the trade-offs and challenges of finding balance, he doesn't regret his choices. He acknowledges that while procrastination might have led to inefficient cramming and incomplete assignments, the heart-to-heart conversations and experiences with friends were worth it. He believes that these experiences will stay with him and continue to shape him in the future.

Q: How did spending time with friends and procrastinating at Harvard influence the speaker's career prospects?

The speaker mentions that he graduated with a job as one of the few English concentrators. Although the job turned out to be an internship involving menial tasks, he credits his experiences of procrastinating and spending time with friends for shaping him into a person who can connect with others and their stories. These skills may be beneficial in his future career endeavors.

Q: What message does the speaker want to convey to the graduating class?

The speaker wants to convey the importance of listening to the voice inside our heads and considering the unexpected values we can learn from the people around us. He encourages the graduating class to embrace the time they have left and appreciate the experiences and lessons derived from interacting with others.

Takeaways

The speaker's story highlights the dichotomy between focusing on personal work and engaging with others. It emphasizes the value of human connections and the lessons that can be learned from the stories and experiences shared by classmates. Despite the temptations of procrastination, the speaker does not regret prioritizing spending time with friends and believes it has shaped him and fueled his drive to make an impact in the world.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker shares their experiences with procrastination and the impact it has had on their college life, particularly at Harvard.

  • They emphasize the importance of prioritizing relationships and social experiences over academic work.

  • Despite the challenges and self-doubt that procrastination can bring, the speaker believes that their interactions with others have shaped them and have the potential to bring positive change.

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