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Mar 19 2017
by Nancy Canevari

10 TED Talks To Watch When You Need Motivation

By Nancy Canevari - Mar 19 2017

It's completely normal to feel down at various points throughout college, and sometimes, all you need is a pick-me-up. One of the quickest ways to improve your mood and make you feel motivated is to watch an inspirational Ted Talk, so Fresh U has compiled a list of talks to watch that are guaranteed to make you feel energized and inspired when you're feeling down.

1. Clint Smith: How to Raise a Black Son in America

For anyone who wants to learn more about the state of race relations in the U.S and how racism is constructed, or who wants to learn about the people working to combat racism, this one is for you.

2. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

This talk explores the issues of media representation, especially in regards to marginalized communities and developing countries. It will definitely inspire you to rethink how you view various groups of people and to become better educated.

3. Sue Klebold: My Son Was a Columbine Shooter: This is My Story

If you ever feel like obstacles in your life are preventing you from getting ahead, watching this video will definitely help: it explores how it's possible to take even the worst circumstances and turn them into a force for change.

4. Melissa Fleming: The Refugee Boat Hero Who Saved a Child and Stirred a Continent

This talk discusses overcoming extreme challenges, and also raises awareness for the refugee crisis in Syria. After watching, you'll most certainly be motivated to take action.

5. James Veitch: This is What Happens When You Reply to Spam Email

Sometimes, what you really need to stay motivated is a good laugh. This story of a man's response to numerous spam emails is guaranteed to give you that.

6. Aimee Mullins: It's Not Fair Having 12 Pairs of Legs

Not only does this talk explore what it means to be disabled and how society has constructed the idea of disability, it also discusses how prosthetic legs can be a form of artistic expression, not necessarily a hindrance. 

7. Juno Mac: The Laws That Sex Workers Really Want

This talk weighs in on the sex work debate, but includes the voices of sex workers themselves, a group of people that often aren't brought into the discourse. It's very informative and explores legislation in multiple countries.

8. Whitney Thore: Living Without Shame: How We Can Empower Ourselves

For everyone who feels weighed down by body shaming, this talk is perfect for you. It addresses issues within medicine and the body shame instilled in women from a very young age.

9. Takaharu Tezuka: The Best Kindergarten You've Ever Seen

This talk is perfect if you're interested in education or architecture, or simply want to learn more about other countries. It'll inspire you to get more educated on global issues.

10. Hilary Cottam: Social Services Are Broken: How We Can Fix Them

While this talk will make you aware of the systematic problems that exist in the social welfare system, it will also make you aware of the steps that can be taken to fix those problems. It will definitely empower you to take action to make the country a better place.

No matter what kind of mood you're in, a good Ted Talk will definitely make you feel motivated and empowered. They cover a wide range of topics as well, so you're guaranteed to find one to meet your interests.

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Nancy Canevari - Smith College

Nancy is a junior editor for Fresh U. She is a sophomore at Smith College and plans on double majoring in secondary education and English, with a concentration in creative writing. She's originally from New Jersey, a place she views with one part love and one part exasperated disgust. She loves dogs and young adult high fantasy novels a bit too much and spends most of her time drinking tea and yelling about politics. Follow her on Instagram @fearlesslynancelot for some solidly mediocre content.

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