Mindy Kaling got personal during her commencement speech before Dartmouth graduates on Sunday, sharing details about becoming a new mom.
The actor, comedian and Dartmouth alum gave birth to a baby girl, Katherine Swati Kaling, in December. When speaking about success and achieving goals, Kaling said that after college graduation, she made a checklist of things she wanted to accomplish in her 20s, which included being married with kids by the age of 30.
The “Oceans 8” star, who turns 39 this month, urged graduates to feel free to let go of such ideas.
“After my daughter was born in December, I remember bringing her home and being in my house with her for the first time and thinking, ’Huh, according to movies and TV, this is traditionally the time when my mother and spouse are supposed to be here sharing this experience with me.′ And I looked around, and I had neither,” she said.
Kaling’s mother, an OBGYN, died of pancreatic cancer in 2012, the same day the actress found out her show “The Mindy Project” was greenlit by Fox.
“And for a moment, it was kind of scary, like, ‘Can I do this by myself?’ But then that feeling went away because the reality is I’m not doing it by myself,” she added. “I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and support me. And the joy I feel from being with my daughter Katherine eclipses anything from any crazy check-list.”
Kaling continued, “Don’t be scared if you don’t do things in the right order. Or if you don’t do some things at all. I didn’t think I’d have a child before I got married but hey ― it turned out that way and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
The star offered some more words of wisdom to the graduates, which included a few swipes at President Donald Trump. Check out her full speech in the video above.