June 11 (UPI) -- Mindy Kaling says becoming a single mother was initially a scary experience.
The 38-year-old actress discussed parenthood and 5-month-old daughter Katherine while delivering remarks at Dartmouth College's graduation ceremony Sunday in Hanover, N.H.
"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 be here, sharing this experience with me.' And I looked around, and I had neither. And for a moment, it was kind of scary," Kaling told the audience.
"But then, that feeling went away, because the reality is, I'm not doing it by myself," she said. "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 checklist."
"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 star encouraged. "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."
Kaling graduated from Dartmouth in 2001. She said in a tweet Sunday that it was an "honor" to deliver the Class of 2018 commencement speech.
"Thank you @dartmouth, my Alma Mater, for welcoming me back to deliver today's commencement speech. To say it was an honor is an understatement. #Dartmouth18s," the actress wrote.
Thank you @dartmouth, my Alma Mater, for welcoming me back to deliver today’s commencement speech. To say it was an honor is an understatement. #Dartmouth18s (You can watch it here: https://t.co/vd3PSf5Nlp) pic.twitter.com/cQcyOdaRze— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) June 10, 2018
Kaling stopped by her old dorm room during her visit.
Kaling gave birth to Katherine in December. She posted a makeup-free photo in February from a "mom night out."