Home Blog 5 TED Talks Every Student Should Watch

5 TED Talks Every Student Should Watch

by Shirley Erasmus

Having a bad day? Feel like you’re getting nowhere? Some days you really just need a little inspiration. Shirley Erasmus has got you covered. Here are the 5 Ted Talks every student and scholar alike should watch. Spoiler alert- these are seriously inspirational!

TED is an international non-profit organization, premised on “ideas worth spreading”. TED started in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged. Today TED talks share ideas from all ranges of interests from science and technology to business and the economy to personal growth and confidence — in more than 100 languages – What!? Here are some of the TED talks every student should watch.

1.) Adora Svitak: What Adults Can Learn from Kids

I’m sure you’ve heard the popular joke: “Don’t grow up- it’s a trap!” Well now you have it from child prodigy Adora Svitak. Young people are so often accused of being ‘childish’, but maybe this isn’t a bad thing. Maturing is really important, but don’t lose your hopes, dreams, or optimism because these very childlike qualities are the backbone of innovation and imagination. Let’s learn to be more child-like so that we can become better adults and leaders for the next generation!

2.) Shonda Rhimes: My Year of Saying Yes to Everything

She’s the genius behind the many tears you’ve shed watching Grey’s Anatomy and hours you’ve spent counting down the days till the next episode of Scandal. Shonda Rhimes doesn’t seem like the kind of person who should be scared of anything right? Wrong. In this Ted Talk she talks about the year she chose to say yes to all of the things that scared her. This meant anything that made her nervous or took her out of her comfort zone. That sound scary enough for you? Shonda shares with us what to do when you’re overworked and feeling burnt out- and trust me- she knows what that’s like. What’s her solution? 15 Minutes a day. Of what, you might ask? You’re going to have to watch the talk to find out!

3.) Matt Cutts: Try Something New for 30 Days

Ever have something you have always wanted to learn to do but for some reason or the other you just what? … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. Why 30, you ask? Well apparently 30 days is the perfect amount of time to create a new habit or get rid of a bad habit. We’re not talking about simple habits like brushing your teeth every day when you wake up for a month. We’re talking about awesome things. Like taking a picture of the sunset every day for a month, or trying one new cooking technique every day for 30 days. Why? Because when you make small, sustainable changes – things that you can keep doing every day for a month, these changes are more likely to stick. So why should you bother trying to do one new thing every day for 30 days? It’s all about opening yourself up to new opportunities.

4.) Angela Lee Duckworth: The Key to Success? Grit

Do you want to know some seriously superb news? Your key to success has nothing to do with how smart you are. In this talk teacher Angela Lee Duckworth talks about what she began to notice in her seventh grade math class: some of her students with the highest IQ scores weren’t doing so well, while some of her students scoring lower on the IQ board seemed to be coping quite well. She was really determined to figure out why this was happening so she began researching many different people from a variety of contexts. She comes to the conclusion that being successful has nothing to do with money or good looks or being smart- it’s about having grit. Do you want to know what grit is? I’ll give you a hint- watch the video.

5.) Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend

You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach before an exam or important assignment? We all know it well – it feels like butterflies doing an aerobics class but it’s actually just stress. We’ve all experienced this many times which is concerning because as students, if we don’t learn how to manage stress now, we’ll be going into the world as some seriously stressed out young adults. So what does Kelly McGonigal, a brilliant health psychologist, have to tell us about stress? Well if you can change the way you think about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress. Which is totally awesome. So how exactly can you do this? Well, I’ll give you a hint…. Watch the video! (Come on, you knew that one was coming right?)

EduConnect 2 Cents

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Angela Lee Duckworth

Every now and then we could all use a little inspiration to be a better student and a better person. We hope that these videos have given you the inspiration you need to try new things, to not lose your sense of child-like wonder and excitement, to remember that success is about having grit and how to manage stress like a pro.

Related Articles