Lorraine Kelly has said today's young generation are being relied upon to "change things and make things better".
The TV host was speaking after being awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Edinburgh Napier University on Thursday.
She told those who were graduating that life "is not a rehearsal" and to "go for it", adding that their efforts are needed to improve the lives of others.
The 58-year-old said: "I'm so honoured, I really am. But I do feel a little bit bad because all these amazing young people have studied and worked for years to get their degree.
"I didn't go to university and here I am getting a degree without doing any work at all. I'm really, really, really thrilled - it's a lovely honour.
"They are just at the first stage of their journey.
"It's just about taking your time, you don't have to rush into anything.
"This generation, we're going to rely on them to change things and to make things better.
"Be yourself and enjoy life. This is not a rehearsal, just go for it."
Kelly trained as a journalist at the then Napier College, and two years ago she returned to the university to see her daughter Rosie Smith graduate with a degree in journalism.
Kelly started her career as a local newspaper reporter in East Kilbride but progressed rapidly to national television and has worked as a presenter on TV-am, GMTV, ITV Breakfast, Daybreak and Lorraine.
The presenter has also worked for a range of charities, including as a patron of Help for Heroes, an ambassador for Worldwide Cancer Research and a trustee of the STV Children's Appeal.