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Ideas > Graduation > Graduation Quotes and Sayings For 2018

Graduation Quotes and Sayings For 2018


Last Updated: Mar 30, 2018

Graduation day brings with it a roller coaster of emotions for grads and their families alike. It’s a time of celebration and achievement. There is reflection on past trials and successes as well as hope for the future.  

As a relative or close friend of the grad, you’ve already done your job of shaping their mind and filling their heart. Now it’s time to take a step back and let them shine. All their hard work has trained them for what is to come.

Whether your student is in high school or college, crafting the perfect advice for a speech at the graduation party or thoughtful 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.

Shop For: Graduation Invitations & Graduation Thank You Cards

  • College
  • High School
  • Inspirational
  • About Life
  • Funny
  • Short
  • Wisdom
  • From Parents
  • Religious Sayings
  • For Son
  • For Daughter
  • For Cards

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.

college graduation quote
college graduation quote

  • “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
  • “Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.”
    —Henry Peter Brougham
  • “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”
    —Alfred Mercier
  • “Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!”
    —Louisa May Alcott
  • “Instruction ends in the schoolroom, but education ends only with life.”
    —Frederick W. Robertson
  • “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
    —Benjamin Franklin
  • “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.”
    —Nora Ephron
  • “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
  • “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”
    —B.B. King
  • “What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.”
    —Joseph Addison
  • “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
    —Martin Luther King Jr.
  • “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
  • “It is absolutely still possible to make a difference.”
    —Michelle Obama
  • “The highest result of education is tolerance.”
    —Helen Keller
  • “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
    —Malcolm X

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.

high school graduation quote
high school graduation quote

  • “Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.”
    —Senator Orrin Hatch
  • “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
    —Arthur Ashe
  • “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
    —John Dewey
  • “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
    —C.S. Lewis
  • “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”
    —Anatole France
  • “Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.”
    —Kerry Washington
  • “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
    —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse.”
    —Edward Koch
  • “There are no regrets in life. Just lessons.”
    —Jennifer Aniston
  • “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
  • “The only thing you can do in this life is pursue your passions, celebrate your bloopers and never stop following
    your fear.”
    —Grace Helbig
  • “Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
    —Dr. Seuss
  • “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”
    —Albert Einstein
  • “Every person you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.”
    —H Jackson Brown Jr.
  • “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

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.

inspirational graduation quote
inspirational graduation quote

  • “When you leave here, don’t forget why you came.”
    —Adlai E. Stevenson
  • “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
    —Winston Churchill
  • “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
  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
    —Steve Jobs
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
    —Henry David Thoreau
  • “The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”
    —Arnold Palmer
  • “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
  • “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
  • “In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.”
    —Kristian Kan
  • “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
    —Thomas Jefferson
  • “You have to dance a little bit before you step out into the world each day, because it changes the way you
    —Sandra Bullock
  • “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

Graduation Quotes About Life

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.

about life graduation quote
about life graduation quote

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

funny graduation quote
funny graduation quote

  • “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”
    —Will Rogers
  • “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
  • “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
    —Mark Twain
  • “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
  • “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
  • “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.”
    —Betty Reese
  • “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.”
    —Zig Ziglar
  • “Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.”
    —Oscar Wilde
  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    —Thomas Edison
  • “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs . . . one step at a time.”
    —Joe Girard
  • “The road to success is always under construction.”
    —Lily Tomlin
  • “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
  • “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”—Charles Schulz
  • “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
  • “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.

short graduation quote
short graduation quote

  • “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
  • “Follow your fear.”
    —Tina Fey
  • “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
    —Milton Berle
  • “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
    —Truman Capote
  • “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”
  • “The tassel’s worth the hassle.”
  • “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
    — Napoleon Hill
  • “Believe and act is if it were impossible to fail.”
    —Charles Kettering
  • “Spread joy. Chase your wildest dreams.”
    —Patch Adams
  • “Dream big and dare to fail.”
    —Norman Vaughan
  • “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”
    —Francois Rabelais
  • “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
    —Albert Einstein
  • “You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”
    —Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.”
    —Oprah Winfrey
  • “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.

wisdom graduation quote
wisdom graduation quote

  • “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
    —Henry Ford
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Knowledge is not power. The implementation of knowledge is power.”
    —Larry Winget
  • “Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.”
    —Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Let us never be betrayed into saying we have finished our education; because that would mean we had stopped
    —Julia H. Gulliver
  • “You can never plan the future by the past.”
    —Edmund Burke
  • “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.”
  • “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
    — Jim Rohn
  • “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.”
  • “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
  • “If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.”
    —Vince Lombardi
  • In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take experience first; the cash
    will come later.”
    —Harold Geneen
  • “Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.”
    —Roger Babson
  • “The important thing is this: to be able to give up in any given moment all that we are for what we can become.”

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.

from parents graduation quote
from parents graduation quote

  • “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
  • “Now that you’ve graduated, just remember: Bosses don’t usually accept notes from your mother.”
    —Melanie White
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
    —Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”
    —C. Everett Koop
  • “You don’t have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you, and you already
    —Meryl Streep
  • “A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions.”
    —Richard L. Evans
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “Set out each day believing in your dreams. Know without a doubt that you were made for great things.”
    —Josh Hinds
  • “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
    —Judy Garland
  • “You must continue to dream the wild dream that you dreamed when you were young.”
    —Mike Tomlin
  • “It is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.”
    —George Burns

Religious Graduation Quotes

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

religious graduation quote
religious graduation quote

  • “‘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
  • “She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
    —Proverbs 31:25
  • “God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.”
    —Max Lucado
  • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
    —Philippians 4:13
  • “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
  • Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
    —Proverbs 16:3
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
    —Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “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
  • “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
  • “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
    —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
    —Dalai Lama
  • “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
  • “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 Wishes for Son

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

for son graduation quote
for son graduation quote

  • “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
    —Albert Einstein
  • “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.
  • “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
    —David Brinkley
  • “Men are what their mothers made them.”
    —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.”
    —Hodding Carter, Jr.
  • “If I have a monument in this world, it is my son.”
    —Maya Angelou
  • “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
  • “There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.”
    —Christopher Morley
  • “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
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
    — Nelson Mandela
  • “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
    —Abraham Lincoln
  • “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
    —E. E. Cummings
  • “A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.”
    —Frank A. Clark
  • “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct
    —John C. Maxwell
  • “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.

for daughter graduation quote
for daughter graduation quote

  • “I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.”
    —Emma Stone
  • “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
  • “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.”
    —Kobi Yamada
  • “The best protection any woman can have is courage.”
    —Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • “And though she be but little, she is fierce.”
  • “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.”
    —Clementine Paddleford
  • “All the dreams I prayed you’d be, are all the things you are. You were once my little girl, and now my shining
  • “You have what it takes to be a victorious, independent, fearless woman.”
    —Tyra Banks
  • “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
  • “She believed she could, so she did.”
    —R. S. Grey
  • “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”
    —Brigham Young
  • “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
    —Michelle Obama
  • “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.”
    —Melinda Gates
  • “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.”
  • “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 .

for cards graduation quote
for cards graduation quote

  • “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.”
    —George Bernard Shaw
  • “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”
    —T. H. Huxley
  • “I will encourage you not to just make a living, but to live to make something.”
    —Wesley Chan
  • “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
  • “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
  • “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
  • “The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.”
    —Maya Angelou
  • “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”
    —Malcolm S. Forbes
  • “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
  • “Follow your arrow, wherever it points.”
    —Kacey Musgraves
  • “Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.”
    —Oprah Winfrey
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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