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

Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.
Albert Einstein

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

The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules.
Neil Gaiman

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

Humorous sayings

You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

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

If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don’t achieve it you haven’t failed and you’re not some loser.
Stephen Colbert

Funny aging quotes for graduation and birthday cards.

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

38.) 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

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

40.) 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

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

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

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

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

Mark Twain quote

Graduation advice quotes about life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

52.) 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

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

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

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

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

57.) 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

58.) 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

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

60.) 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

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

62.) 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

63.) 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

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

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

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

67.) 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

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

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

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

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

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

73.) 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

74.) 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

82.) 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

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

84.) 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

91.) 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

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

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

For yearbook

94.) Read everything and be kind.
Penn Jillette

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

96.) Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!
Louisa May Alcott

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.) There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
C.S. Lewis

102.) Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.
Tom Brokaw

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

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

For high school grads

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

106.) 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

107.) 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

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

109.) 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

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

111.) The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
B.B. King

For college grads

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

113.) 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

114.) 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

115.) The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse.
Edward Koch

116.) 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

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

118.) Now the first suggestion is to aim high, but 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

Inspirational graduation quotes

Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Your life is your adventure. And the adventure ahead of you is journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.
Kerry Washington

Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.
Nora Ephron

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

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

You and you alone are the only person who can live the life that writes the story that you were meant to tell.
Kerry Washington

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X

Motivational sayings

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

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I celebrate you as you remember the power of grace and pride, and I challenge you to choose freedom over fear.
Janelle Monáe

If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.
Winston Churchill

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

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

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

Success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it… Err in the direction of kindness.
George Saunders

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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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