Top 124 Inspiring Graduation Quotes

Looking for the best graduation quotes? You’ve come to the right place. Check out the following list of the most inspirational graduation quotes. There are more than 100 quotes: funny, motivational, inspiring, wise. Feel free to share it.

124 Best Graduation Quotes

1. “The person who you’re with most in life is yourself and if you don’t like yourself you’re always with somebody you don’t like.” – Mark Lewis

2. “The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.” – Newton D. Baker

3. “All real education is the architecture of the soul.” – William Bennett

Graduation Quotes

4. “It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete.” – Norman Cousins

5. “Never go to your high school reunion pregnant or they will think that is all you have done since you graduated.” – Erma Bombeck

6. “Last but not least, I would say you should have big dreams, full dreams, not half dreams. You know, it’s very simple. You can’t put a large box in a small box. Well, you cannot put a full life in a small dream box.” – Elias Zerhouni

7. “As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own.” – Michael Dell

8. “Graduation is a time of completion, of finishing, of an ending, however, it is also a time of celebration of achievement and a beginning for the new graduate.” – Catherine Pulsifer

9. “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

10. “God wants us to know that life is a series of beginnings, not endings. Just as graduations are not terminations, but commencements. Creation is an ongoing process, and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease.” – Bernie Siegel

11. “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

12. “The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.” – William S. Burroughs

13. “You are educated. 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

14. “I was blessed with a mother who was in a constant state of wonder…And whenever I’d complain or be upset about something, my mother had the same advice: “Darling, change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.” – Arriana Huffington

15. “Creativity is a renewable resource. Be as creative as you like, as often as you like, because you can never run out!” – Biz Stone

16. “We have the choice, the ability to acknowledge that being ‘scared’ is not who we are.” – Paul Glaser

17. “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” – Nora Ephron

18. “It doesn’t matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping.” – Jerry Zucker

19. “It’s harder to build than destroy. To build is to engage and change. In jazz, we call progressing harmonies changes. Changes are like obstacles on a speed course. They demand your attention and require you to be present. They are coming… they are here… and then they are gone. It’s how life comes. Each moment is a procession from the future into the past and the sweet spot is always the present. Live in that sweet spot. Be present.” – Wynton Marsalis

20. “Sometimes, the only way to discover who you are or what life you should lead is to do less planning and more living— to burst the double bubble of comfort and convention and just do stuff, even if you don’t know precisely where it’s going to lead, because you don’t know precisely where it’s going to lead.” – Daniel Pink

21. “Don’t treat your heart like an action figure wrapped in plastic and never used.” – Amy Poehler

22. “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

23. “There will be times when your best isn’t your good enough. There can be many reasons for this, but as long as you give your best you’ll be OK.” – Robert De Niro

24. “The opposite of love isn’t hate. It isn’t even indifference. It’s fear.” – Mary Karr

25. “Creativity is a consequence of action, not its motivation. Do what needs to be done and then ask whether it was possible.” – Wade Davis

26. “You cannot authentically live anyone’s life but your own. That is the deal life offers us.” – Gabrielle Giffords

27. “Here’s the thing: the world is not going to issue you an engraved invitation to this life.” – Sarah Heidt

28. “To be your own person, you need good friends. Friends are the treasure of your life.” – Garrison Keillor

Graduation Quotes

29. “You can become someone who is worthy of respect, and someone who can pursue what he wants irrespective of what others say or do.” – Faith Starr

30. “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises”. Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” – Orrin Hatch

31. “Don’t be afraid of fear. Because it sharpens you, it challenges you, it makes you stronger; and when you run away from fear, you also run away from the opportunity to be your best possible self.” – Ed Helms

32. “And 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.” – Neil Gaiman

33. “Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

34. “Nobody else is paying as much attention to your failures as you are… To everyone else, it’s just a blip on the radar screen, so just move on.” – Jerry Zucker

35. “This is your time and it feels normal to you but really there is no normal. There’s only change, and resistance to it and then more change.” – Meryl Streep

36. “Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course… We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we watch television.” – Paul Hawken

37. “Life has a very simple plot: first you’re here and then you’re not.” – Eric Idle

38. “You’re biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable.” – Drew Houston

39. “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

40. “Take action. Every story you’ve ever connected with, every leader you’ve ever admired, every puny little thing that you’ve ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life.” – Bradley Withford

41. “I will reach for the stars no matter how hard it seems, and fly like a bird with the knowledge this journey brings.”- Semetra C. Vanison

42. “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

43. “Don’t always worry what your next line is going to be.” – Richard Costolo

44. “You don’t need to change yourself. Ever. You need to come home to yourself. And that changes everything.” – Scherer

Graduation Quotes

45. “The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match, each one of you is a fuse.”- Ed Koch

46. “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.” – Westheimer

47. “Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.” – Arie Pencovici

48. “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

49. “It is soooooo necessary to get the basic skills, because by the time you graduate, undergraduate or graduate, that field would have totally changed from your first day of school.” – Leigh Steinberg

50. “Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss…you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown

51. “The great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself.” – David McCullough Jr.

52. “Don’t ever rob a bank. Enjoy life. Have fun. Choose to be happy now; don’t wait until you’re ‘successful,’ because honestly, I was as happy when we were unemployed and scrounging around for a buck.” – Peter Farrelly

53. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

54. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

55. “Graduation, a conclusion of one chapter, a beginning of another.” – Catherine Pulsifer

56. “I have learned this at least by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dream, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagines, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

57. “Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.” – Washington Irving

58. “Be clear about what you want to accomplish, and whether the circumstances surrounding you are actively helping you toward the goal.” – Wally Amos

59. “Find opportunities in change, especially in today’s world where change is moving at a fast pace, don’t let change overwhelm you, let change help you find opportunities you may have never seen!” – Catherine Pulsifer

60. “Today is the day I will change my mind, and leave all the negative things behind.” – Semetra C. Vanison

61. “At 20, I realized that I could not possibly adjust to a feminine role as conceived by my father and asked him permission to engage in a professional career. In eight months I filled my gaps in Latin, Greek and mathematics, graduated from high school, and entered medical school in Turin.” – Rita Levi-Montalcini

62. “You know what has made me the happiest I’ve ever been? Seeing my son and daughter graduate from college. More than wanting them to be educated, I wanted them to be nice people. To see that they have become both is just a wonderful thing.” – Gil Scott-Heron

63. “My father, who was from a wealthy family and highly educated, a lawyer, Yale and Columbia, walked out with the benefit of a healthy push from my mother, a seventh grade graduate, who took a typing course and got a secretarial job as fast as she could.” – George Weinberg

64. “We don’t stop going to school when we graduate.” – Carol Burnett

65. “Catholic school graduates exhibit a wide variety of qualities that will not only help them in their careers but also in their family and community lives.” – Joe Baca

66. “For students today, only 10 percent of children from working-class families graduate from college by the age of 24 as compared to 58 percent of upper-middle-class and wealthy families.” – Patrick J. Kennedy

67. “The college graduate is presented with a sheepskin to cover his intellectual nakedness.” – Robert M. Hutchins

68. “Since graduation, I have measured time in 4-by-5-inch pieces of paper, four days on the left and three on the right. Every social engagement, interview, reading, flight, doctor’s appointment, birthday and dry-cleaning reminder has been handwritten between metal loops.” – Sloane Crosley

69. “Really, the potential for, first of all, any college graduate today is enormously good. These are good times for anyone with a college degree today, particularly African Americans. With a college degree today, you really breach the unemployment rate.” – Alexis Herman

70. “It’s very interesting, if you look at a study that was done by the Brookings Institute back in 2009, they determined that if Americans do three things, they can avoid poverty. Three things. Work, graduate from high school, and get married before you have children.” – Rick Santorum

71. “For good nurture and education implant good constitutions.” – Plato

72. “Knowledge is invariably a matter of degree: you cannot put your finger upon even the simplest datum and say this we know.” – T. S. Eliot

73. “The knowledge of languages was very useful. I have a university degree in foreign languages and literature.” – Emma Bonino

74. “For many, graduation marks the end of formal student life – the end of long spring breaks and of thinking that a 10 A.M. class is far too early.” – Alexa Von Tobel

75. “When I was a graduate student, the leading spirits at Harvard were interested in the history of ideas.” – M. H. Abrams

76. “The morning after my high-school graduation found me up early job hunting. The dream of college I put on the back burner.” – Martha Reeves

77. “I got all my work done to graduate in two months and then they were like, I’m sorry, you have to take driver’s ed. I just kind of went, Oh, forget it.” – Fiona Apple

78. “Everybody wants you to do good things, but in a small town you pretty much graduate and get married. Mostly you marry, have children and go to their football games.” – Faith Hill

79. “Remember, half the doctors in this country graduated in the bottom half of their class.” – Al McGuire

80. “Do all the other things, the ambitious things—travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes…but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.” – George Saunders to Syracuse University in 2013

81. “Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.” – Oprah Winfrey

82. “Don’t buy society’s definition of success. Because it’s not working for anyone. It’s not working for women, it’s not working for men, it’s not working for polar bears, it’s not working for the cicadas that are apparently about to emerge and swarm us. It’s only truly working for those who make pharmaceuticals for stress, diabetes, heart disease, sleeplessness, and high blood pressure.” – Arianna Huffington

83. “Do not worry too much about your lawn. You will soon find if you haven’t already that almost every adult American devotes tremendous time and money to the maintenance of an invasive plant species called turf grass that we can’t eat. I encourage you to choose better obsessions.” – John Green

84. “And how do you know when you’re doing something right? How do you know that? It feels so. What I know now is that feelings are really your GPS system for life. When you’re supposed to do something or not supposed to do something, your emotional guidance system lets you know. The trick is to learn to check your ego at the door and start checking your gut instead.” – Oprah Winfrey

85. “I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that would never pay a mortgage or secure a pension. I know that the irony strikes with the force of a cartoon anvil, now.” – J.K. Rowling

86. “Be bold, be courageous, be your best.”

Graduation Quotes

87. “Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.” – Barack Obama

88. “You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.” – David Foster Wallace

89. “Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.” – Anna Quindlen

90. “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

91. “I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.” – Maya Angelou

92. “You’re going to have naysayers, and I’ll tell you, you will throughout your life have people who will tell you you’re not good enough. Maybe they’re jealous. Maybe they think you aren’t. Maybe they’ve had a bad day. But ultimately you have to believe in yourself.” – Meredith Vieira

93. “Be aware that even before you have reached your ultimate professional destination, if you always strive for excellence, you can and should have a substantial impact on the world in which you live.” – Sandra Day O’Connor

94. “Real courage is holding on to a still voice in your head that says, ‘I must keep going.’ It’s that voice that says nothing is a failure if it is not final. That voice that says to you, ‘Get out of bed. Keep going. I will not quit.’ – Cory Booker

95. “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

96. “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

97. “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

98. “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

99. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

100. “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

101. “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

102. “I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition. There are so few people this crazy that I feel like I know them all by first name. They all travel as if they are pack dogs and stick to each other like glue. The best people want to work the big challenges.” – Larry Page

103. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

104. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

105. “Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed.” – Erma Bombeck

106. “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”

107. “I believe in the principle that I can make a difference in this world. It may be ever so small, but it will count for the greater good.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

108. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain

109. “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!” – Andy McIntyre

110. “In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” – Harold Geneen

111. “In the game of life, when the final buzzer sounds, the only stat you carry with you is the number of assists you made. So help other people put some points on the board.” – Mayor Mike Bloomberg

112. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

113. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill

114. “Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.” – Susan B. Anthony

115. “The very purpose of our life is happiness, which is sustained by hope…. Hope means keeping going, thinking, ‘I can do this.’ It brings inner strength, self-confidence, the ability to do what you do honestly, truthfully and transparently.” – The Dalai Lama

116. “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies commencement exercises” Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” – Orrin Hatch

117. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only dream, but also believe.” – Anatole France

118. “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E.E. Cummings

119. “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

120. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Graduation Quotes

121. “Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” – Sarah Caldwell

122. “First class in life has nothing to do with the clothes you wear, the car you drive or the house you live in. First class is and always will be about the content of your character, the quality of your ideas and the kindness in your heart.” – Mayor Cory Booke

123. “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye.” – Helen Keller

124. “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