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Graduation Quotes and Sayings For 2018

Graduation day is a roller coaster of emotions for grads and their families alike. It’s a moment of celebration, achievement, hope for the future and reflection on the past.

Whether your student is in high school or college, ‘choosing’ the perfect advice for a speech or wishes for a graduation card can be a challenge. If this exciting time has you at a loss for words, here are 100 quotes that will help you share wisdom and knowledge with your graduate.

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High School Graduation Quotes

High school graduation is exciting—it sparks hope for the future and invites graduates to dream big. Encourage them with these optimistic high school graduation messages.

  1. “Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” —Senator Orrin Hatch
  2. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” —Arthur Ashe
  3. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” —John Dewey
  4. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” —C.S. Lewis
  5. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” —Anatole France
  6. “Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.” —Kerry Washington
  7. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  8. “The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse.” —Edward Koch
  9. “There are no regrets in life. Just lessons.” —Jennifer Aniston
  10. “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” —Michael Josephson
  11. “The only thing you can do in this life is pursue your passions, celebrate your bloopers and never stop following your fear.” —Grace Helbig
  12. “Kid, you’ll move mountains.” —Dr. Seuss
  13. “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” —Albert Einstein
  14. “Every person you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.” —H Jackson Brown Jr.
  15. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

College Graduation Quotes

As your grad transitions from being a student to entering the real world, wish them well with these quotes about the merits of higher education.

  1. “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
  2. “Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” —Henry Peter Brougham
  3. “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” —Alfred Mercier
  4. “Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!” —Louisa May Alcott
  5. “Instruction ends in the schoolroom, but education ends only with life.” —Frederick W. Robertson
  6. “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” —Benjamin Franklin
  7. “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” —Nora Ephron
  8. “You don’t go to university so you can punch a clock. You go to university so you can be in a position to make a difference.” —Janet Napolitano
  9. “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” —B.B. King
  10. “What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.” —Joseph Addison
  11. “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
  12. “We may live in an age of instant messaging, instant gratification and Instagram, but there is no way to short circuit the path to success.” —Tory Burch
  13. “It is absolutely still possible to make a difference.” —Michelle Obama
  14. “The highest result of education is tolerance.” —Helen Keller
  15. “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” —Malcolm X

Inspirational Graduation Quotes

Graduation can feel like the first day of the rest of your grad’s life. Let that day be a confident, motivating one with these inspirational quotes.

  1. “When you leave here, don’t forget why you came.” —Adlai E. Stevenson
  2. “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill
  3. “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
  4. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” —Steve Jobs
  5. “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
  6. “When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” —Ellen DeGeneres
  7. “So, I say to you, forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you.” —Oprah Winfrey
  8. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” —Henry David Thoreau
  9. “The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” —Arnold Palmer
  10. “Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for you being here. Make good art.” —Neil Gaiman
  11. “If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” —Vincent Van Gogh
  12. “In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.” —Kristian Kan
  13. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” —Thomas Jefferson
  14. “You have to dance a little bit before you step out into the world each day, because it changes the way you walk.” —Sandra Bullock
  15. “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

Famous Quotes About Life for Graduation

Give your grad motivational words to live by with famous quotes from some of the most well-known authors, poets, singers, life coaches and athletes.

  1. “Get busy living or get busy dying.” —Stephen King
  2. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” —Charles Swindoll
  3. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” —Thomas Edison
  4. “Do not let making a living prevent you from making a life.” —John Wooden
  5. “In this life we cannot do greatTH things. We can only do small things with great love.” —Mother Teresa
  6. “Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” —Art Linkletter
  7. “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” —William Arthur Ward
  8. “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” —Bob Marley
  9. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” —Oscar Wilde
  10. “Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” —Kyle Chandler
  11. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” —Dr. Seuss
  12. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  13. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” —Babe Ruth
  14. “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” —Anthony Robbins
  15. “Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” —Grandma Moses

Funny Graduation Quotes

Is your grad already overwhelmed with emotions? Keep it light with these humorous graduation messages.

  1. “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” —Will Rogers
  2. “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
  3. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” —Mark Twain
  4. “Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money.” —Gary Bolding
  5. “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
  6. “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.” —Betty Reese
  7. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.” —Zig Ziglar
  8. “Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.” —Oscar Wilde
  9. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” —Thomas Edison
  10. “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs . . . one step at a time.” —Joe Girard
  11. “The road to success is always under construction.” —Lily Tomlin
  12. “There may be days when you’ll say to yourself, ‘I can’t. I literally can’t even.’ But you can! You can even!” —Katie Couric
  13. “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”—Charles Schulz
  14. “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” —Theodore Roosevelt
  15. “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’” —Audrey Hepburn

Short Graduation Quotes

Sometimes, short and sweet is the way to go. Here are 15 quotes to get you started.

  1. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” —Confucius
  2. “Follow your fear.” —Tina Fey
  3. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Milton Berle
  4. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” —Truman Capote
  5. “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” —Shakespeare
  6. “The tassel’s worth the hassle.” —Anonymous
  7. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill
  8. “Believe and act is if it were impossible to fail.” —Charles Kettering
  9. “Spread joy. Chase your wildest dreams.” —Patch Adams
  10. “Dream big and dare to fail.” —Norman Vaughan
  11. “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” —Francois Rabelais
  12. “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” —Albert Einstein
  13. “You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger
  14. “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” —Oprah Winfrey
  15. “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” —Maya Angelou

Wisdom Quotes for Graduation

Offer your graduate some valuable words of wisdom to guide them through the tough times they will encounter.

  1. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” —Henry Ford
  2. “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” —Alexander Graham Bell
  3. “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
  4. “Knowledge is not power. The implementation of knowledge is power.” —Larry Winget
  5. “Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” —Leonardo da Vinci
  6. “Let us never be betrayed into saying we have finished our education; because that would mean we had stopped growing.” —Julia H. Gulliver
  7. “You can never plan the future by the past.” —Edmund Burke
  8. “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” —Confucius
  9. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” — Jim Rohn
  10. “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” —Lao-Tze
  11. “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
  12. “If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.” —Vince Lombardi
  13. In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take experience first; the cash will come later.” —Harold Geneen
  14. “Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.” —Roger Babson
  15. “The important thing is this: to be able to give up in any given moment all that we are for what we can become.” —DeSeaux

Religious Graduation Quotes

Pass along the gift of faith to your graduate as he or she embarks on their spiritual journey.

  1. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11
  2. “She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” —Proverbs 31:25
  3. “God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.” —Max Lucado
  4. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” —Philippians 4:13
  5. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” —Timothy 4:12
  6. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” —Proverbs 16:3
  7. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” —Deuteronomy 31:8
  8. “An unschooled man who knows how to meditate upon the Lord has learned far more than the man with the highest education who does not know how to meditate.” —Rev. Charles Stanley
  9. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
  10. “The purpose of human life is to improve one’s character traits, by working on oneself every day. That’s why God gives us today—and tomorrow.” —Sara Yoheved Rigler
  11. “The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be alone with the sky, nature and God. For only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature’s beauty and simplicity.” —Anne Frank
  12. “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  13. “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” —Dalai Lama
  14. “You start to live when you commit to a cause higher than yourself. You must learn to depend on divine power for the fulfillment of a higher calling.” —Lailah Gifty Akita
  15. “When you find yourself in need of spiritual nourishment, it is in the opportunities to serve others that you will find the abundance you seek.” —Steve Maraboli

Graduation Quotes from Parents

Express how proud, happy and excited you are for your child as they move into the next chapter of their lives, and let them know how much they mean to you with a sentimental quote.

  1. “Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After 22 years of child-raising, they are unemployed.” —Erma Bombeck
  2. “Now that you’ve graduated, just remember: Bosses don’t usually accept notes from your mother.” —Melanie White
  3. “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” —Harry S. Truman
  4. “We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt
  5. “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” —Anne Frank
  6. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
  7. “Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.” —C. Everett Koop
  8. “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
  9. “A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions.” —Richard L. Evans
  10. “Never let it be said that to dream is a waste of one’s time, for dreams are our realities in waiting. In dreams, we plant the seeds of our future.” —Unknown
  11. “I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.” —Unknown
  12. “Set out each day believing in your dreams. Know without a doubt that you were made for great things.” —Josh Hinds
  13. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” —Judy Garland
  14. “You must continue to dream the wild dream that you dreamed when you were young.” —Mike Tomlin
  15. “It is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” —George Burns

Graduation Wishes for Son

Congratulate your son on his big day! Inspire his future success with one of these educational quotes.

  1. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” —Albert Einstein
  2. “You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.” —Walter M. Schirra, Sr.
  3. “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” —David Brinkley
  4. “Men are what their mothers made them.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  5. “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.” —Hodding Carter, Jr.
  6. “If I have a monument in this world, it is my son.” —Maya Angelou
  7. “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” —Bob Dylan
  8. “There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.” —Christopher Morley
  9. “Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you a stock clerk.” —James Cash Penney
  10. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
  11. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” —Abraham Lincoln
  12. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” —E. E. Cummings
  13. “A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.” —Frank A. Clark
  14. “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” —John C. Maxwell
  15. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” —Thomas Jefferson

Graduation Wishes for Daughter

Your daughter is the light of your life. Show your love for her with a heartwarming quote.

  1. “I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.” —Emma Stone
  2. “Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.” —Nora Ephron
  3. “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.” —Kobi Yamada
  4. “The best protection any woman can have is courage.” —Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  5. “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” —Shakespeare
  6. “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” —Clementine Paddleford
  7. “All the dreams I prayed you’d be, are all the things you are. You were once my little girl, and now my shining star.” —Anonymous
  8. “You have what it takes to be a victorious, independent, fearless woman.” —Tyra Banks
  9. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” —Aristotle
  10. “She believed she could, so she did.” —R. S. Grey
  11. “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” —Brigham Young
  12. “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” —Michelle Obama
  13. “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” —Melinda Gates
  14. “There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.” —Rihanna
  15. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” —Ayn Rand

Graduation Sayings for Cards

Can’t decide on the perfect thing to write? Choose from these quotes for a thoughtful, uplifting note perfect for all graduation announcements.

  1. “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” —George Bernard Shaw
  2. “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” —T. H. Huxley
  3. “I will encourage you not to just make a living, but to live to make something.” —Wesley Chan
  4. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle
  5. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” —Leonardo da Vinci
  6. “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” —Helen Keller
  7. “The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” —Maya Angelou
  8. “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” —Malcolm S. Forbes
  9. “Nobody likes to fail, but failure is an essential part of life and of learning. If your uniform isn’t dirty, you haven’t been in the game.” —Ben Bernanke
  10. “Follow your arrow, wherever it points.” —Kacey Musgraves
  11. “Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.” —Oprah Winfrey
  12. “If you’re willing to stand for what you believe in . . . you won’t need advice from me, because you will be able to handle whatever comes.” —Whoopi Goldberg
  13. “Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. 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
  14. “From my point of view, which is that of a storyteller, I see your life as already artful, waiting, just waiting and ready for you to make it art.” —Toni Morrison
  15. “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

With the flurry of emotions your loved one is facing on graduation day, a simple quote could make all of the difference. Whether you find words that settle their nerves about embarking on a new path or give them the wisdom they need, you are sending an inspirational message. This is just the positive outlook your graduate should have when preparing for all of the new opportunities that await them. Don’t forget to include all of the important people who helped your grad along the way. If you need inspiration, check out our graduation announcement wording ideas for tips when sending out your announcements.