11 TED Talks All Students Must Watch

TED talks, if you’ve not come across them before, are popular online videos in which expert speakers cover a range of fields – from business to tech – with the aim of inspiring and educating others.

With over 2,100 TED talks in over 100 different languages to choose from, we’ve made life easier for you by rounding up the 11 must-watch videos for students.

1. Inside The Mind Of A Master Procrastinator

Procrastination is something that many students constantly battle with. Blogger Tim Urban gives a simple (and hilarious) explanation of why some of us can’t help but delay starting an essay or assignment until the last minute – and how procrastination can become more of a problem when there isn’t actually a deadline to work towards. Just remember: this video isn’t meant to be used as a procrastination method!

2. How To Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed

The life of a student can often be as stressful as it is enjoyable, so knowing how to deal with stress is important. American neuroscientist Daniel Levitin reveals how to stay calm when tackling stressful situations – whether it’s an all-important essay deadline or gruelling exam.

3. The Power Of Introverts

It’s easy to assume that confidence and an outgoing mentality are the keys to success, both at university and in your post-student life. But, as writer Susan Cain points out in this TED talk, the more introverted types out there have important qualities that shouldn’t go unappreciated. In fact, they should be encouraged and celebrated.

4. All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes

Meditation expert Andy Puddicombe’s talk provides an easy method for refreshing your mind: all you need to do is take 10 minutes out of your day to block out all distractions and do nothing but experience the present. It’s a surprisingly powerful tool for maintaining a stress-free life.

5. The Key To Success? Grit

Intelligence is certainly significant when it comes to doing well at university (and beyond), but it’s by no means the only factor. In this video, psychologist Angela Duckworth explores the idea that grit – the determination to overcome any obstacles that come your way – plays a key part in being successful.

6. What Adults Can Learn From Kids

As well as coming out of it with an excellent degree, university is a time for growing up and maturing. According to 18-year-old author and activist Adora Svitak, though, you shouldn’t dismiss your childlike thinking – including bold ideas and unerring optimism – as these are the cornerstones of innovation and motivation.

7. A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit

It’s easy to develop some bad habits at university, like one too many pre-lecture coffees or excessive amounts of junk food. Psychiatrist Judson Brewer delves deeper into the science behind developing habits, and presents simple yet effective ways to help you resist breaking into that jumbo packet of crisps.

8. Dare To Disagree

While students undertake a lot of independent learning at university, they also have to be able to work well in groups. Entrpreneur Margaret Heffernan’s TED talk highlights how disagreeing with one another isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, when handled in the right way, disagreement can be a crucial ingredient of a group’s success.

9. How To Build Your Creative Confidence

You might think that creative-minded people are only found among artists, writers and the like, but designer David Kelley believes that this is the wrong attitude to have. Instead, he argues that everyone has the potential to be imaginative – it’s all about having the confidence to pursue creativity.

10. How Do You Define Yourself?

University is a time for you to explore who you are and what defines you as a person, which can be tough in a world driven by social media and general image expectations. Motivational speaker Lizzie Velásquez, who suffers from a rare syndrome, addresses this issue head on in a passionate talk about what really defines beauty and happiness.

11. Try Something New For 30 Days

University is full of new experiences and extracurricular opportunities, but some students can still be reluctant to try these things out in case they don’t enjoy them. That’s where software engineer Matt Cutts’ strategy to try something new for 30 days comes in. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll love everything you take on, but it’s a great attitude to adopt for broadening your horizons (and your mind!).

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