Mindy Kaling Gets Candid About Being a Single Mother in Dartmouth Commencement Speech

‘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.’

Mindy Kaling wouldn’t change a thing about her life with her daughter, Katherine!

The 38-year-old Ocean's 8 star gave the commencement address at her alma mater, Dartmouth College, over the weekend, where she touched on her own personal experiences to help inspire the graduates.

Sharing her own post-graduate checklist of goals, Kaling noted that she only accomplished one of the achievements – have kids.

“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,’” she recalled. “And I looked around and I had neither, 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. I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and support me.”

Kaling went on to explain, “The joy that I feel from being with my daughter Katherine eclipses anything from any crazy check list. So I just want to tell you guys, don’t be scared if you don’t do things in the right order or if you don’t do some things at all.”

The Mindy Project alum got extremely candid, saying, “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,” before quipping, “I didn’t think I’d have dessert before breakfast today, but hey, it turned out that way and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

In addition to getting personal, Kaling doled out advice to both guys and girls in the audience. For the men, she touched on the topic of the #MeToo Movement, saying, “When you go on dates, act as if every woman you’re talking to is a reporter for an online publication that you are scared of. One shouldn’t need the threat of public exposure and scorn to treat women well, but if that’s what it’s going to take, fine. Date like everyone’s watching, because we are.”

And for the women in the audience, she encouraged them to treat each other with kindness.

“Hey girls, we need to do a better job of supporting each other. I know that I am guilty of it too. We live in a world where it seems like there’s only room for one of us at the table,” she said. “Wouldn’t it be better if we worked together to dismantle a system that makes us feel like there’s limited room for us? When women work together we can accomplish anything, even stealing the world’s most expensive diamond necklace from the Met Gala, like in Ocean’s 8, a movie starring me, which opens in theaters June 8!”

For exclusive content from the Ocean's 8 cast, watch the clip below: