Following the news of Lauren being the keynote speaker at Langley High School, Lauren’s former high school mate and Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine, Cindi Leive asked her what she would have told her own high-school self and it “turns out her insights are required reading for people of every age.“
I don’t think we even had a graduation speaker! Given that, what do you wish someone had said to you when you were about to graduate?
You don’t have to have done anything by now. There doesn’t have to be some sign that you’re destined for anything in particular. I remember feeling a huge amount of anxiety and worry and pressure. At that point, I was headed into acting school. That was 100 percent the only thing I thought I wanted to do. But then, I got through my first year of college and I was, like, humming and rolling around, pretending to be a lion [in acting classes at NYU] and visiting [our classmate] Charlie Gregg at Harvard, where he was actually learning things. So I changed my mind: I decided I actually wanted a different kind of education, and that was an incredibly freeing idea. [Lauren then transferred to Barnard College.] How could I possibly have known everything I was supposed to know about the way to conduct my life as a senior in high school? And on the other hand, I live with someone now [actor Peter Krause] who didn’t find an interest in being an actor until the very end of college. So my message is: There’s so much freedom left. There’s no ticking clock. It’s just not true.
Do you think that pressure is greater today? It’s the age of Zuckerberg and all these other people who do capital “G” great things and find their callings when they are 18.
Yes, I think there’s more pressure to stand out in a way that is measurable externally. The fame culture is definitely way worse and weirder than it was when we were in high school. You know, I always say we had Star Search and that was it. [Laughs.] Now, you can be a star in so many ways. But I am here to tell you, there’s nothing in people knowing you. There’s actually a loss in that! Really, the reward in life is genuinely the day of work you have. It’s not the name you’re making for yourself or the clicks and likes—it’s such an illusion.
Somehow this feels related: I threw my Fit Bit away. I wasn’t in better shape measuring everything than I was just feeling myself. Everything is much more externally driven now. And I wonder—I’m gonna try to talk about this in a secular way, but where’s the spirituality of just being a person? I think it contributes to this rise in bad manners and mean comments; people are being driven by seeking something that’s just designed to keep them seeking something. I’m not reducing people in this age to phone-addicted dum dums, but we have to remind ourselves to also study compassion and inner life as well.
— Cindi Leive (@cindi_leive) June 16, 2017
— Lauren Graham (@thelaurengraham) June 16, 2017
Click here to read the full interview: Lauren Graham on What She’d Tell Her High-School Self and the Future of ‘Gilmore Girls’