7 Highly Motivational TED Talks for College Students

About the author:  JT Ripton is a freelance writer out of Tampa, FL, who lives for TED talks and loves being inspired by all of the incredible people out there who motivate him to be a better person in all facets of life.

As a college student, you certainly don’t want to sit through another boring lecture. Don’t worry. The following TED talks are anything but boring and will have you looking at life differently in only a few short minutes. Ready to get motivated? Set aside a few minutes to listen to what these inspiring people have to say:

1. Matt Cutts: Try Something New for 30 Days

Are you still undecided about your major? Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, but you haven’t had the chance. Matt Cutts, an engineer from Google, suggests trying a new thing for 30 days to really start experiencing what life has to offer. In this talk, you’ll learn how Cutts turned his life around with his 30-day challenges and how you can do the same.

2. Cameron Russell: Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe me, I’m a Model

As a college student, you may still have lingering doubts about your appearance that may stem from whatever may have happened in High School and you may feel as if it’s the thing that defines you most, when really isn’t at all. This TED talk by Cameron Russell, a model, shows you that there’s much more to you than outward appearance.

3. Richard St. John: Secrets of Success in 8 Words, 3 Minutes

What does success even mean? And do you have the tools to really succeed in what you want to do? In this short three-minute presentation, Richard St. John outlines the secrets to success, motivating you to adopt these ideas to become successful in your career path.


4. Vik Nithy: Why we Procrastinate

“We have a monkey in our brains making decisions on our behalf.” Does this sound like you? Have you ever put off studying so much that you’ve stayed up all hours of the night right before an exam to cram? If you’re like most college students, then the answer is yes. But why do we procrastinate? Vik Nithy shares the reasons and motivates you to get off your butt and start studying, getting fit, saving money, and accomplishing your other goals.

5. Natalie Warne: Anonymous Extraordinaires

It may seem nearly impossible to make a difference as a single 20-something-year-old, but there are people out there doing it. In this TED talk, Natalie shares her journey and shows that anything is possible no matter your age. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your passions or major — whether you’re a social work major already out to change the world or a tax major  who loves mathematics — you can use your passions to make a difference in the lives of others while encouraging change.

6. Dr. Ivan Joseph: The Skill of Self-Confidence

If you’re struggling with your self-confidence as many college students are, you have to listen to this talk from Dr. Ivan Joseph, and he takes a new approach to self-confidence, looking at it as a skill that one can develop over time. This talk will motivate you to persist in your goals and practice self-confidence.

7. Kakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School

College can often seem like a chore, something you have to do before getting a job. After listening to this talk by Kakenya Ntaiya, you probably won’t feel that way anymore. Ntaiya teaches viewers about the gift of schooling, helping people in all walks of life better appreciate their education.

Start living the life you want while you’re still in college, and let these TED talks motivate you to do it.

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