25 of the Most Inspirational Graduation Quotes

UPDATED: June 24, 2024
PUBLISHED: May 15, 2020

In the current world of social distancing, graduation is just one of the many celebrations that has been impacted. What was supposed to be an auditorium filled with high spirits, proud scholars, and supportive friends and family, is now online ceremonies and mailed diplomas. But to the graduates reading this, know that your hard work has not gone unnoticed.

No matter if your cap and gown has been replaced with sweatpants or your celebratory hugs with virtual high fives, you are still celebrated, still recognized and still loved. So, Class of 2020, we want reassure you that the tassel was indeed worth the hassle! We applaud you. You did it!

Celebrate your accomplishments and look to the future with these 25 quotes by speakers who we all know and love:

“Your life journey is about learning to become more of who you are and fulfilling the highest, truest expression of yourself as a human being.” - Oprah Winfrey Share on X


“Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. Share on X


“Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.” - Kerry Washington Share on X


“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.” - Steve Jobs Share on X


“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” - Nora Ephron Share on X


“Your perspective is unique. It’s important and it counts. Try not to compare it to anyone else.” - Glenn Close Share on X


“Fight for what makes you optimistic about the world. Find it, insist on it, dig into it, go after it.” - Jennifer Garner Share on X

“Never doubt that you can make a space big enough for yourself in this world.” - Cynthia Nixon Share on X

“Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.” - Barack Obama Share on X

“If you have found that thing, that purpose in life that gives you access to maximum enthusiasm, trust that!” - Sterling K. Brown Share on X

“You're defined by what you define failure as. It's not a thing if it leads you to your success. It's all part of the journey.” - Justin Timberlake Share on X

“The definition of success changes. Success is to live your life with integrity and not give in to peer pressure to be something you're not. Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else's path.” - Ellen… Share on X

“May your vision and your love not just change the world but make a world of change for everyone that you can.” - Cory Booker Share on X
“Stay focused on what really matters. There will be times when your resolve to serve humanity will be tested. Be prepared. People will try to convince you that you should keep your empathy out of your career. Don’t accept this… Share on X
“Instruction ends in the schoolroom, but education ends only with life.” - Frederick Willliam Robertson Share on X
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” - B.B. King Share on X
“I've found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Fall forward...Never be discouraged. Never look back. Give everything you've got. And when you fall throughout life, fall forward.” - Denzel Washington Share on X
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, but especially not yourself. Go conquer the world. Just remember this: Why not you? You made it this far.” - Mindy Kaling Share on X
“Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.” - Shonda Rhimes Share on X
“You’re not the future. You’re the present. You are succeeding. You are making us proud. You are changing the world, so keep changing the world and keep making us proud.” - Jimmy Fallon Share on X
“For many of you who maybe don’t have it all figured out, it’s okay... Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result. Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard.” - Will Ferrel Share on X
“I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.” - Maya Angelou Share on X
“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 Share on X
“So let me reassure you, it’s not supposed to be easy. You’re supposed to have moments of uncertainty about which path to take, because the 20s are full of crossroads. When one door closes, another door always opens.” - Lisa Kudrow Share on X
“You can go slow. Allow your dreams and goals to change, but live an intentional life.” - Kumail Nanjiani Share on X

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