Graduation Advice Quotes

Use these graduation advice quotes to impart words of wisdom and life lessons on your favorite graduate.

Life lessons and advice for graduates

In the coming-of-age film “The Graduate,” the main character Ben (played by Dustin Hoffman) is instructed by his parents’ friend to remember one word that is sure to be the key to his success: “Plastics.”

While this advice might be fine for some, we suggest digging deeper to find useful life lessons you can use to send your young graduate out into the world. We’ve put together this list of some of our favorites.

Top 10 best quotes for grads

1.) You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.
C. S. Lewis

2.) You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.
Oprah Winfrey

3.) The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
Mark Twain

4.) The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Abraham Lincoln

5.) The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

6.) Love the earth and sun and animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others…
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
Walt Whitman

7.) Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

8.) What are the things that you can’t see that are important? I would say justice, truth, humility, service, compassion, love. They’re the guiding lights of a life.
Jimmy Carter

9.) Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

10.) You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

Graduation advice quotes image

Good graduation advice quotes

11.) When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

12.) The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

13.) In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
Eleanor Roosevelt

14.) What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
Plutarch

15.) Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Søren Kierkegaard

16.) Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.
Benjamin Franklin

17.) You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.
Maya Angelou

18.) Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.
Isaac Asimov

19.) Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.
Bruce Lee

Dr Seuss quote

Funny graduation advice quotes

20.) All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
Mark Twain

21.) I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realise I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

22.) The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.
Will Rogers

23.) To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
Reba McEntire

24.) By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
Robert Frost

25.) Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Will Rogers

26.) The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either.
Ricky Gervais

27.) If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
Dalai Lama

28.) Breathe properly. Stay curious. And eat your beets.
Tom Robbins

29.) People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
Zig Ziglar

30.) You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
Robin Williams

31.) Change is not a four letter word… but often your reaction to it is!
Jeffrey Gitomer

32.) Life is like a sewer… what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.
Tom Lehrer

Oprah quote

Inspirational wisdom quotes

33.) Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Dalai Lama

34.) Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.
George Addair

35.) Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
William Faulkner

36.) And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

37.) Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.
Rumi

38.) Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
Theodore Roosevelt

39.) Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them―that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

40.) Many people are afraid of the dark, but the real tragedy is those who are afraid of the light.
Plato

41.) If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
Francis Bacon

42.) When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.
Confucius

43.) You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.
William Faulkner

44.) We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one.
Confucius

45.) The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.
Oprah Winfrey

Mark Twain quote

Graduation advice quotes about life

46.) Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.
Irving Berlin

47.) A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

48.) When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
Henry Ford

49.) You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough.
Mae West

50.) Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard

51.) In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

52.) Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.
Bruce Lee

53.) The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality: that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them, everything.
Benjamin Franklin

54.) Never lie in bed at night asking yourself questions you can’t answer.
Charles M. Schulz

55.) Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
Jack London

56.) Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
William Blake

57.) Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.
Albert Einstein

58.) There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

Graduation advice quotes from sports

59.) I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Michael Jordan

60.) Don’t count the days, make the days count.
Muhammad Ali

61.) Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
John Wooden

62.) Forget about style; worry about results.
Bobby Orr

63.) Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.
Jackie Robinson

64.) The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
Jimmy Johnson

Check out these inspiring quotes about overcoming failure.

Graduation advice quotes for students

For daughter

65.) The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
Ayn Rand

66.) A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
Maya Angelou

67.) Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
Roald Dahl

68.) Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.
Sandra Day O’Connor

69.) I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.
Mother Teresa

70.) Being yourself is all it takes. If you want to impress someone don’t be someone else just be yourself.
Selena Gomez

71.) Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

72.) Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
Maya Angelou

73.) To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.
Eleanor Roosevelt

74.) I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

For son

75.) What’s money? 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

76.) Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

77.) Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
William Blake

78.) Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.
Malcolm Gladwell

79.) Accomplish but do not boast, accomplish without show, accomplish without arrogance, accomplish without grabbing, accomplish without forcing.
Lao Tzu

80.) Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt

81.) The big lesson in life is never be scared of anyone or anything.
Frank Sinatra

82.) So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.
Malcolm X

83.) Always have something to say. The man who has something to say and who is known never to speak unless he has, is sure to be listened to.
Dale Carnegie

Graduation advice quotes from parents

84.) If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.
James Cameron

85.) You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

86.) To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

87.) Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.
Roy T. Bennett

88.) The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.
Thomas S. Monson

89.) Be independent of the good opinion of other people.
Abraham Maslow

90.) Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
Maya Angelou

91.) If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.
Coco Chanel

92.) You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.
Steve Jobs

93.) Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.
William Shakespeare

94.) God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.
Voltaire

For yearbook

95.) Read everything and be kind.
Penn Jillette

96.) Love unconditionally, laugh intentionally, live strategically, and learn daily.
Hope D. Blackwell

97.) Dream as if you will live forever; Live as if you will die today.
James Dean

98.) Nothing will work unless you do.
Maya Angelou

99.) Do or do not. There is no try.
Yoda

100.) Find a voice in a whisper.
Martin Luther King Jr.

101.) Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.
Walt Whitman

102.) Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.
Margaret Thatcher

For high school grads

103.) Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.
Maya Angelou

104.) As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and says, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.
Harper Lee

105.) Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
Mary Tyler Moore

106.) Think before you speak. Read before you think.
Fran Lebowitz

107.) If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.
Benjamin Franklin

108.) Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
Albert Einstein

For college grads

109.) Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.
Ronald Reagan

110.) In dwelling, live close to the ground… in thinking, keep to the simple… in conflict, be fair and generous… in governing, don’t try to control… in work, do what you enjoy… in family life, be completely present.
Lao Tzu

111.) The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.
Norman Vincent Peale

112.) One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

113.) Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
Henry Ford

How to use these quotes

There are many ways to use these sayings. Here are a few:

  • Personalize your graduation card by adding a quote or saying to it.
  • Decorate a cake with a short line or two of inspiring words.
  • Create a banner or a poster to display at a graduation party using your favorite quote.
  • Make t-shirts that display the graduate’s name, date, and a quote.
  • Be like Mr. McQuire in “The Graduate” and dramatically deliver your sage advice personally at the grad party.

Thanks for reading these Graduation Advice Quotes. For more inspirational quotes, check out these great lists:

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