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Class of 2024: 101 Inspirational Graduation Quotes to Guide on Life’s Journey

A collection of 100 inspirational graduation quotes for both high school and college graduates. These inspiring quotes are perfect for cards, social media posts, or gift ideas. Add one of these quotes to a letterboard or chalkboard for instant party décor!

This post was originally published in (May, 2020) and was updated and republished in (March, 2024)

Do you want to motivate your graduate to succeed?

These sayings will inspire any recent grad!

So, if you’re looking for inspiration for a high school, college, or beyond you need to check out our list of graduation quotes.

We’ve included positive messages from well-known individuals in history, current influencers, and even some unknown authors.

Give that someone special encouragement for the future at a milestone moment in their life.

And who knows maybe you’ll even find your very own motivational quote to live by.

I’m sure you will find a quote or 10 (lol) that speaks to your heart in our expansive collection so be sure to keep reading to the end of this post.

And don’t forget to pin this post below to save it so you can refer back to it again & again!

Why Do You Need an Inspiration Quote for a Graduate

group of boys in gowns throwing caps in air in front of high school for graduation

Truth be told, I’m a sucker for a great quote!

I love adding motivational messages around my home.

And I’m always looking for new ones on Pinterest to use in craft projects or home décor ideas.

When someone special is celebrating a milestone occasion an inspirational quote may be just the thing you’re looking for.

Sometimes you may be looking for the perfect thing to say to that graduate in a card or letter.

Maybe you’re not so great at pouring out your heart.

But when you read a quote that really speaks to you…well, then you may just want to share that inspiration with others.

Where Can You Use Motivational Quotes

graduation memory book with graduation cords laying across open book

If you’re as sentimental as Anne & I are you may be looking for meaningful gift ideas for your graduate.

Anne’s children have all graduated high school and her oldest just graduated college.

My oldest has finished both high school and college, my middle graduated high school in 2020, and my youngest will graduate in 2022.

As you can see, we’ve celebrated quite a few graduations both high school and college in the past several years.

Be sure to check out this post for ideas to give your grad!

Graduation Memory Book with Words of Wisdom

meaningful graduation gift ideas photo of young man sitting in family room on carpeted floor reading book of letters

One of the gifts I gave both of my sons when they completed high school was a graduation memory book.

This was probably one of their favorite gifts!

I created a book filled with letters and short messages of encouragement before heading off to college from family and friends.

And of course, I had to add some quotes to their books!

Adding inspirational quotes at the beginning and end of the book.

Since I had created a book for my oldest son Jake, I didn’t want to use the same quotes again when putting together Gavin’s book.

While I was searching for his book, I started making a list of my favorite quotes.

I’ll need new quotes for Emma’s graduation book so having this list handy is perfect.

photo book for dads 70th birthday

Creating photo books is something I just love to do for people I love…it’s so fun to look back through pictures to remember times in the past.

For my Dad’s 70th birthday I created a book filled with a combination of photos, messages from family, and yup…you guessed it quotes!

And I also make a book every year from pictures of our annual family beach trip.

One year I even put together a family yearbook.

Even though it was a lot of work but so fun to look back at all the little and small events from the year.

mom and son outside for photo in field

And before Gavin heads off to college in August, I will be creating another book for him.

This one will be filled with photos that span his 18 years.

It’s kind of like a yearbook of his life.

You can get all the details of how I put it together for Jake here.

In each book I make for any occasion, I always add a few motivational quotes.

How Would You Use an Inspirational Graduation Quote?

girl in blue cap and gown outdoors on graduation day

The graduation memory book was my favorite place to use many inspirational quotes during this milestone my children reached.

But there were a few other places I included a quote too.

Here is a list of other places to use words of wisdom to celebrate a graduate’s accomplishments:

  • Graduation Speech: As a parent, you may want to give a speech or toast during a celebration with friends and family. Having the perfect quote may help you express your pride for your student.
  • Graduation Announcement: Include a powerful quote on the announcement itself.
  • Graduation Slide Show: Add quotes throughout a photo slideshow to add meaning and well wishes.
  • Graduation Party Decoration: Display a quote on a sign or banner as a source of inspiration for the graduate.
  • Graduation Card Message: Write a heartfelt message and add a relevant quote inside a card.
  • Social Media Post: Share an inspirational graduation quote with a photo of your graduate on your social media accounts.
  • Graduation Gift Inscription: Personalize a gift with a meaningful quote.

I thought I’d share my list of inspirational graduation quotes so that you can easily find a great quote in one place!

Now that you know why you need these words of motivation and where and how you can use inspirational graduation quotes let’s look at this amazing list of over 100 quotes…

100+ Inspirational Graduation Quotes

silhouette of graduates in gowns throwing caps in air with quote printed on bottom
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream. -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. – Dr. Seuss
  • Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. – John F. Kennedy
  • The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. -B.B. King
  • Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one. – Pocahontas
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart you’ll know when you find it. – Steve Jobs
  • Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. – Helen Keller
  • Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know. – Winnie the Pooh
  • The only impossible journey is the one you never begin. – Anthony Robbins
  • Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Quotes to Guide You on Your Life’s Journey

quote on photo of wooden walkway with greenery and trees on either side
  • It is good to have a journey toward the end, but it is the journey that matters, in the end. – Ernest Hemingway
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life that you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau
  • Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead. -Nora Ephron
  • Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it. – Mark Amend
  • Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. – Maya Angelou
  • Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss
  • Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose. – Oprah Winfrey
  • Keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things…your curiosity will lead you down the path of success. – Walt Disney
  • My wish for you is that life becomes all that you want it to. Your dreams stay big. And your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you’re out there getting to where you’re getting to. I hope you know somebody loves you. And wants the same things too. Yeah. This is my wish. – Rascal Flatts
  • Believe you can and you’re halfway there. -Theodore Roosevelt

Inspirational Graduation Quotes to Light Your Way

groups of graduates throwing black graduation caps up in air blue sky
  • May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. – Nelson Mandela
  • You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. – Dr. Seuss
  • It’s absolutely still possible to make a difference. – Michelle Obama
  • We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better. – JK Rowling
  • Do or Do Not. There is no Try. – Yoda
  • She believed she could so she did. – R.S. Grey
  • Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. – John F. Kennedy
  • If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. -Thomas Jefferson
  • Today or never that’s my motto. – Mary Poppins
  • Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe

Life-Changing Quotes to Keep You Inspired 

quote on photo of mountain range
  • You’re off to great places! Today is your Day! Your mountain is waiting so get on your way. – Dr. Seuss
  • How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank
  • Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. – Steve Jobs
  • Just when a caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly. – Proverb
  • It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. – E.E. Cummings
  • Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer
  • Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor. – Jackson Browne
  • Be who you are on the inside. – Moana
  • I knew exactly what to do but in a much more real sense I had no idea what to do. – Michael Scott
  • It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela

The World Awaits Words to Ignite Your Next Adventure 

two hands creating heart with fingers and sun shining through beyond
  • Wherever you go, go with all your heart. – Confucius
  • Why fit in when you were born to stand out? – Dr. Suess
  • How lucky am I that I have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. – Winnie the Pooh        
  • It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all. – JK Rowling
  • You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. – Orpah Winfrey
  • It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. – William Shakespeare
  • 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
  • Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss                

Uplifting Quotes to Celebrate Achievements and Embrace What’s Next 

quote on photo of sun shining through trees
  • Nothing can dim the light that shines from within. – Maya Angelou
  • There are far far better things ahead than any we leave behind. – C.S. Lewis
  • The best way to predict your future is to create it. – Abraham Lincoln
  • If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it. – William Arthur Ward
  • All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
  • Follow your fear. – Tina Fey
  • Be bold, be courageous, be your best. – Gabrielle Giffords
  • Your imagination is your preview to life’s coming attractions. – Albert Einstein
  • Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X

Graduation Quotes to Ignite Passion and Conquer the World

sailboat on ocean with clouds and mountains beyond
  • 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
  • Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. -Martin Luther King Jr.
  • An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. -Benjamin Franklin
  • Creativity is intelligence having fun. – Albert Einstein
  • Nothing is impossible.  The word itself says “I’m Possible”. – Audrey Hepburn
  • Go into the world and do well but more importantly go into the world and do good. – Minor Myers Jr.
  • Great things are done by a series of small things brought together – Vincent Van Gogh

Inspirational Graduation Quotes to Spark Joy

male walking up steps wearing backpack holding book
  • You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. – Martin Luther King
  • You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who will decide where to GO. – Dr. Seuss

Inspirational Graduation Quotes with Unknown Authors

  • Behind you all your memories, before you all your dreams, around you all who love you, within you all you need. – unknown
  • What feels like the end is usually the beginning! – unknown
  • The world is calling… – unknown
  • Let your dreams be your wings… – unknown
  • Success is what happens after you have survived your disappointments. – unknown
  • This is the beginning of anything you want. – unknown
  • And this is the part where you find out who you are. – unknown
  • And so the adventure begins… – unknown

Simply2Moms High School Graduations

Family of five with older son, twin daughters, mom and dad posing at twin's graduation

Anne and I have moved beyond the high school years since this blog post was originally written.

My middle son graduated in 2020, Anne’s twins finished high school in 2021, and my youngest in 2022.

We are officially done with high school around here so we thought it was time to add a few more quotes to our list of 75.

This has been a popular article and we want to keep updating it as we go because of course there are still college graduations in our future.

So let’s take a look at the new inspirational quotes we’ve added to our list of 75 bringing the grand total to 101!

Class of 2024, It’s Your Time!

AnnMarie's family on her daughter's graduation day standing outside
  • Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. – John F. Kennedy
  • If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. – Fred DeVito
  • If you want to be the best, you have to do things other people aren’t willing to do. – Michael Phelps
  • Savor the taste of your triumphs today, don’t just swallow them all whole without digesting what is actually happening here. Look down over what you conquered and appreciate what God has brought you through. – Chadwick Boseman
  • You miss 100% of the shots you never take. – Wayne Gretzky
  • The most important thing in life is to stop saying “I wish” and start saying “I will”. – Charles Dickens
  • You already have everything you need inside of you right now, today. – Alicia Keys
  • The future is always uncertain, but we who celebrate what you have done, who celebrate all of your achievements, we are certain of one thing on this day: You will not let us down. – Tom Hanks
  • When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go. – Carol Burnett
  • Keep your face toward the sunshine and shadows will always fall behind you. – Walt Whitman
  • 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
  • There are no regrets in life. Just lessons. – Jennifer Aniston
  • No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind. – Taylor Swift
  • Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. – Babe Ruth

Graduation Quotes to Carry You Through Life’s Adventures 

graduate standing on deck outside next to chalkboard sign
  • Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. – Judy Garland
  • 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
  • So many of our dreams first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. – Christopher Reeve
  • You will find the key to success under the alarm clock. – Benjamin Franklin
  • I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance. – Lee Ann Womack
  • Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try. – William Arthur Ward
  • Nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Fall forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. – Denzel Washington
  • I am here to tell you that whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that’s okay. – Conan O’Brien
  • Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential. – Kerry Washington
  • It is time to chase every dream, accept every challenge, strive for greatness, honor every promise, and recommit to your community. – LeBron James
  • Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.– Betty White

More Graduation Ideas from Simply2Moms

I hope you were inspired by all of these amazing inspirational graduation quotes.

Do you have a quote you love that didn’t make this list?

Please share it with us in the comments below.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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