April 17, 2024 6 min read

Say just the right thing and send off your fellow graduates cheering. Check out these 60+ inspiring quotes and get into the commencement frame of mind.

Graduating is no small achievement, and no minor milestone. It’s a big day, so say something big. Major themes like reflection, inspiration, and celebration are all a great place to start, but there’s no wrong way to think about making a statement for graduation. Whether it's part of a commencement speech or an idea for a social media post, these more than 60+ quotes for a newly graduated senior can all help inspire the perfect statement to mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Inspirational graduation quotes

These quotes are for getting your people inspired, motivated, totally teary-eyed, and on their feet clapping. Send the mood sky high with some of this soaring rhetoric.

  • "Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead." — Nora Ephron
  • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • "The only impossible journey is the one you never begin." — Tony Robbins
  • "Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." — Sam Levenson
  • "Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life." — Steve Jobs
  • "The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams." — Oprah Winfrey
  • "The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same." — Colin R. Davis
  • "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." — Malcolm X
  • "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." — Steve Jobs
  • "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." — Dr. Seus
  • "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." — Winston Churchill
  • "Believe you can, and you're halfway there." — Theodore Roosevelt
  • "Your time is now. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." — Arthur Ashe
  • "You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path." — E.O. Wilson
  • "The future is not in the hands of fate, but in ours." — Jules Jusserand

Funny graduation quotes

It’s also a celebration, so why not lighten up a little? Try some humor on for size and get your fellow grads laughing as you remember the good times and the bad.

  • "The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces." — Will Rogers
  • "Just remember, you can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." — Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • "I learned law so well, the day I graduated I sued the college, won the case, and got my tuition back." — Fred Allen
  • "The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate." — Doug Larson
  • "You will never have more energy or enthusiasm, hair, or brain cells than you have today." — Tom Magliozzi
  • "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." — Arie Pencovici
  • "You are graduating from college. That means that this is the first day of the last day of your life." — Andy Samberg
  • "Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated." — Garry Trudeau
  • "Your families are extremely proud of you. You can't imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing." — Kurt Vonnegut
  • "The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth." — Gerald Burrill
  • "Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself." — Mark Coope
  • "The best way to predict your future is to create it." — Peter Drucker
  • "Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door." — Kyle Chandler
  • "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
  • "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. By all means, you should follow that." — Ellen DeGeneres

Academic achievement graduation quotes

You and your classmates just did an incredible thing. An education is the key to countless doors, and the fruits of academic endeavors will be so, so sweet. Celebrate those big brains of yours with these quotes focused on the importance of knowledge and learning.

  • "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." — B.B. King
  • "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." — W.B. Yeats
  • "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." — Aristotle
  • "The highest result of education is tolerance." — Helen Keller
  • "The expert in anything was once a beginner." — Helen Hayes
  • "Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom." — Oprah Winfrey
  • "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." — Albert Einstein
  • "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." — Chinese Proverb
  • "The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice." — Brian Herber
  • "Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased." — Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." — Albert Einstein
  • "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." — Mark Twain
  • "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." — Dr. Seuss

Future and career growth graduation quotes

Maybe you're just getting started, and it's time to get that hustle and grind mindset into gear. Rev up your friends with some dream-big words of wisdom.

  • "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." — Winston S. Churchill
  • "Dream big and dare to fail." — Norman Vaughan
  • "The secret to success is to know something nobody else knows." — Aristotle Onassis
  • "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." — John D. Rockefeller
  • "The future depends on what you do today." — Mahatma Gandhi

Life lessons graduation quotes

Now that you’ve earned a degree, you’ve certainly got some wisdom to impart to your alumni cohort. Blow some minds with a few choice words about living life right.

  • "Life is too important to be taken seriously." — Oscar Wilde
  • "The only time to look back in life is when taking a memory test." — Buddy Hackett
  • "Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential." — Kerry Washington
  • "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." — Nelson Mandela
  • "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count; it's the life in your years." — Abraham Lincoln
  • "Life is change, growth is optional. Choose wisely." — Karen Kaiser Clark
  • "The purpose of our lives is to be happy." — Dalai Lama
  • "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." — Confucius
  • "You don't have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you, and you already have." — Meryl Streep
  • "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." — Albert Einstein
  • "Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow." — Horacea
  • "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." — Albert Schweitzer
  • "Dreams can become a reality when we possess a vision, a plan, and the courage to chase after it relentlessly." — Walt Disney
  • "The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you're not going to stay where you are." — J.P. Morgan
  • "Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is like saying 'I don't want to.'" — Lao Tzu
  • "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." — John Lennon
  • "The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways." — Robert Greene
  • "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." — Lao Tzu
  • "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." — Thomas Edison

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