1. She suffers from impostor syndrome, still.
“I’m still insecure about my own worthiness,” Portman said, telling the audience that at the time she was admitted to Harvard, she “felt like there had been some mistake, that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company, that I would have to prove I wasn’t some dumb actress.”
2. And if you suffer from impostor syndrome? Don’t. Seriously.
“You are here for a reason,” she said.
3. Not having any clue what you’re doing can be a blessing in disguise.
“You can harness that inexperience to carve out your own path, one that is free of the burden of knowing how things are supposed to be.”
4. You can learn great life lessons in teeny-tiny sushi restaurants.
Speaking about a recent trip to Tokyo and a memorable meal there, Portman said, “It’s not about quantity; it’s about taking pleasure in the perfection and beauty of the particular.”
5.She still remembers the mean things a New York Times reporter said about her first film.
“Ms. Portman poses better than she acts” was the diss that Natalie recalled word-for-word during her speech. (Geez, New York Times. She was 12! Harsh, much?)
6. Inexperience can be as good as courage.
“I didn’t recognize risks as risks,” she said of the gutsy career moves she made out of ignorance rather than bravery. “Make use of the fact that you don’t doubt yourself too much right now.”
7. And you can write any story you want on a blank slate.
“Your inexperience can lead you down a path where you [either] confirm to someone else’s values, or where you make something wholly yours,” Portman said.
8. Making time to do good works is worth it.
“It’s a cliche because it’s true: that helping others ends up helping you more than anyone.”
9. And finally, the friends you make in college are ones you should hang onto.
“Grab the good people around you,” Portman said. “Don’t let them go.”