College or high school graduation is a unique time when friends and family come together to celebrate education and achievement.
If you have a rising graduate in your life, you probably want to give them some graduation advice to start them off onto their next journey.
Quotes for graduating senior classes can be used in cards, in person, or in commencement speeches.
The best graduation quotes will leave a lasting impact on those who read them and provide some inspiration for continued success in the future.
Here are 41 motivational graduation quotes to keep in mind while you are celebrating the graduate that you know.
41 Amazing Graduation Quotes
Inspirational Graduation Quotes
Choose from 1 of these 13 inspirational graduation quotes:
1. “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘ commencement exercises’. Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” – Orrin Hatch
2. “Graduation is not a single point along the continuum of life. Instead, graduation is a series of continuing steps where additional education and life experiences culminate in a life driven by a self-sacrificing desire to contribute to the well-being of those people who are around you.” – Byron Pulsifer
3. “Each one of us has the ability to lead a dynamic life by pursuing our unique goals and dreams. There are no limits to what you can accomplish when you know who you are and have faith in what you can do.” – Stedman Graham
4. “If I had only one message to impart that might help you be successful, it would be simply to start. To find your confidence, get out of your comfort zone, overcome your fears, and begin the journey to discover and accomplish what you want to do with your life.” – Doretha Dingler
5. “The whole world is opening to you. You guys have been in school your entire lives. You have completed something difficult that took persistence and willfulness.” – Ira Glass
6. “Each year sees new records set in almost every field. Better songs can be written, better radios can be made, more beautiful paintings can be painted. Someone is going to do these things. Why should not YOU be the one to do some of them?” – Dorothea S. Kopplin
7. “Graduates, you were born to be uncommon. Today I encourage you to leave your mark, I challenge you to shake up the world. It’s a world that’s increasingly complex and often daunting, but I believe something amazing can happen here.” – Marilyn Luscombe
8. “Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that’s it. You’re going out of that nest. And you have to find that courage that’s deep, deep, deep in there. Every step of the way. ” – Andrew Shue
9. “Real leadership comes from the quiet nudging of an inner voice. It comes from realizing that the time has come to move beyond waiting to doing.” – Madeleine Albright
10. “Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” – Tom Brokaw
11. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs
12. “Having the right mindset is critical to graduation no matter at what age you decide to take the leap. The mindset? You must acquire the right mindset that places you in the right frame of mind to make the right decisions, which will lead to the right habits, eventually leading you down the right path as you grow beyond where you are right now.” – Mike Finley
13. “Graduation is the same thing as taking that first baby step as a child. It is only the beginning, not the end. Thus, take the advent of graduation as that first step where life’s difficulties or failures only spark new attempts with the full understanding that nobody can discourage your progress except you.” – Byron R. Pulsifer
Famous Graduation Quotes
Choose from 1 of these 15 famous graduation quotes:
14. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
15. “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” – Oprah
16. “Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman
17. “My favorite animal is the turtle. The reason is that in order for the turtle to move, it has to stick its neck out. There are going to be times in your life when you’re going to have to stick your neck out. There will be challenges and instead of hiding in a shell, you have to go out and meet them.” – Ruth Westheimer
18. “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
19. “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing, but what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” – Alan Alda
20. “You get to make your own luck. 80% of success in your career will come from just showing up. The world is run by those who show up…not those who wait to be asked.” – Steve Blank
21. “Don’t let your fears overwhelm your desire. Let the barriers you face—and there will be barriers—be external, not internal. Fortune does favor the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you’re capable of unless you try.” – Sheryl Sandberg
22. “Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you are mostly just making things up as you go along.” – Stephen Colbert
23. “As you get older, you realize that no one has all the answers. It turns out that life is an exercise in living with the certainty of uncertainty.” – Jason Kilar
24. “You can’t control how smart you are, how funny you are, how good-looking you are. The one thing you can control in your life is how hard you work.” – Ian Brennan
25. “Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money.” – William Lyon Phelps
26. “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
27. “Success leads to the greatest failure, which is arrogance and pride. Failure can lead to the greatest success, which is humility and learning.” – David Brooks
28. “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama
Funny Graduation Quotes
Choose from 1 of these 13 funny graduation quotes:
29. “At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards. My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds be bold, and wear sombreros.” – Paul Freund
30. “To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you too may one day be president of the United States.” – George W. Bush
31. “You’ll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. Never.” – Woody Hayes
32. “Pursue whatever it is that you want to do with your life. It is the only secret to happiness that I know except for maybe true love, that and maybe having the amazing health insurance plan that our congressmen have.” – Lewis Black
33. “A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.” – Robert Orben
34. “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” – Bette Reese
35. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss
36. “Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.” – Ellen DeGeneres
37. “The unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing about your life, is that there is no core curriculum. The entire place is an elective.” – Jon Stewart
38. “I did fail. Time and time again. I was too short for this or too strange for that. I even had one casting director for a movie say ‘he’ll never work in comedy.’ I was taking my punches but I was in the fight. That’s a metaphor of course, I highly doubt I have any ability to take an actual punch.” – Charlie Day
39. “As you set off into the world, don’t be afraid to question your leaders. But don’t ask too many questions at one time or that are too hard because your leaders get tired and/or cranky.” – Will Ferrell
40. “I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” – Jim Carrey
41. “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” – Tom Bodett
Did you enjoy these graduation quotes? Please spread the love.
Sometimes, a quote is the most memorable way to make an impression on a college graduate. Use these quotes to express your congratulations to the graduate in your life.
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