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4 best TED Talks motivate college students

by Sade Moore

Looking for inspiration? In need of motivation? Are you about to graduate and head off into the real world? Here’s a small list of the best TED Talks for college students to get you inspired, to show you the importance of self-reflection and what you can learn from it.


1. Clint Smith: How to raise a black son in America

“Son I’m sorry, but you can’t act the same as your white friends. You can’t pretend to shoot guns; you can’t run around in the dark…” Clint reflects on his childhood and tells the story of how confused he was as a child because his parents wouldn’t allow him to do certain things. Now, as an adult, he understands completely and raises some serious questions about humanity.


2. Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.

“Saying you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying you want to win the Powerball when you grow up, it’s out of your control…and it’s not a career path.”
In this talk, Russell examines the racial and gender inequalities in the model world and in the real world. Russell also shows the “superficial construction” of models and how it relates to insecurities within most models as well as young girls aspiring to be models.


3. Alice Goffman: How we’re priming some kids for college–and others for prison

“Why are we offering only handcuffs and jail time?” In the U.S., two institutions lead teenagers on the path to adulthood: college and prison. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Goffman examines and explains the systematic relationship between prison and African-American and Latino teenagers.


4. Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

In College, partying and being outgoing seems to be the thing to do, but would you rather spend time alone? Is group work a pain for you? In this talk, Cain passionately explains the strength of introverts and how society tends to shame them for being who they are. “The Power of Introverts” examines the amazing abilities of introverts and why they should be encouraged.


Inspired by these passionate TED Talks? Find more of these motivational, inspiring, idea sparking talks at or download the TED mobile app from your app store.