High school graduation is such a bittersweet time for students and their parents.
It is the end of an era. It is closing the book on one chapter and the exciting beginning of another. It is the beginning of the transition from kid to adult.
There is so much to celebrate when it comes to high school graduation, so much to do. Some kids head off to college, trade school, or the military. Others may start jobs or internships. And others start taking the first steps to find out who they want to be in this world.
You have to plan parties, take all the photographs, and get the right graduation gifts.
If you are an emotional sap like we are, you may find it hard to find the right inspirational, motivational, or words of wisdom to share with your graduate. These quotes are great if you want to post something on social media, inscribe it into a card, or even use one for an inspirational gift for your graduate.
Luckily there are so many great and funny quotes from others to help us convey the message we want to offer to our high school grads (and the college graduate too!)
But never forget, the most powerful words any teen can hear is, “I love you. I’m proud of you. I’ll always be here for you.”
75 of the most inspiring high school graduation quotes
“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” — Minor Myers, Jr.
“In response to those who say stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.” -Kristian Kan
“Do all the other things the ambitious things—travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes…but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.” —George Saunders
“You already have everything you need inside of you right now, today.” –Alicia Keys
“Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives. Be creative, but make sure that what you create is not a curse for mankind.”–Albert Einstein
“Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” –Chadwick Boseman
“That clock you hear is the sound of your own heart. Sink your teeth into this life, and don’t get let go.”
“Understand that one day you will have the power to make a difference, so use it well.”
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I’m continually trying to make choices that put me out of my own comfort zone. As long as you’re uncomfortable it means you’re growing.”—Ashton Kutcher
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill
“Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose.” –Oprah Winfrey
This is one of our favorite inspiring high school graduation quotes: “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
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you” –B.B. King
“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
“Don’t let the noise of others drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”–Steve Jobs
“There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob aimlessly in the current. And wouldn’t you know that your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become. This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, or your lovers. Your path is your character defining itself more and more every day.”–Jodi Foster
“Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.”–Kerry Washington
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.” – A.A. Milne via Winnie the Pooh
“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
”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. It takes hard work, tenacity, and patience.”–Tory Burch
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else”.–Judy Garland
“It is good to have a journey toward the end, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway
“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
“We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.“–Malcolm X
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Fall forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. You’ve got to take risks.” -Denzel Washington
“You don’t have a job? Get one. Any job! Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Do something until you can do something else.” -Shonda Rhimes
“Real courage is holding on to a still voice in your head that says, ‘I must keep going.’ It’s that voice that says nothing is a failure if it is not final. That voice that says to you, ‘Get out of bed. Keep going. I will not quit.” Cory Booker
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” -Thomas Jefferson
“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
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” -Michelle Obama
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” — George Washington Carver
“There are no regrets in life. Just lessons.” – Jennifer Aniston.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” –Harriet Tubman
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” — Babe Ruth
“There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” —Nelson Mandela
Inspiring high school graduation quotes can say the words you cannot find.
“The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match, each one of you is a fuse.” — Edward Koch
“Every person you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.” —H Jackson Brown Jr.
“You’re going to fall down, but the world doesn’t care how many times you fall down, as long as it’s one fewer than the number of times you get back up.” — Aaron Sorkin
“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”– Les Brown
“Life is an improvisation. You have no ideas what’s going to happen next and you are mostly making things up as you go along.” – Stephen Colbert
“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
“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
“Share your sparkle wherever you are.” – Dodinsky
“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”—Lupita Nyong’o
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”-Henry David Thoreau
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” —Robin Williams
“Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.” —Jim Carrey
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill
“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”— Charles Swindoll
“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste” — Henry Ford
“The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.” — Newton D. Baker
“Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try.”– William Arthur Ward
“Follow your fear.”–Tina Fey
Humorous High School Graduation Quotes
We love those inspiring high school graduation quotes that give us all the feels, but these lightened the mood and may get a little chuckle out of your graduate!
“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
“My dear terrified graduates, you are about to enter the most uncertain and thrilling period of your lives.” –Lin-Manuel Miranda
“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.”–JK Rowling
“As you set off into the world, don’t be afraid to question your leaders. But don’t ask too many questions at one time or that are too hard because your leaders get tired and/or cranky.” –Will Ferrell
“A graduation ceremony is any event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that “individuality” is the key to success” –Robert Orben
“Big pay and little responsibility are circumstances seldom found together.” –Napoleon Hill
“So long as your desire to explore is greater than your desire to not screw up, you’re on the right track.”–Ed Helms
“The Lord gave us two ends: one to sit on and the other to think with. Success depends on which one we use the most.”–Ann Landers
“Try putting your iPhones down every once in a while and look at people’s faces. People’s faces will tell you amazing things.”–Amy Poehler
“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
“You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.”–Benjamin Franklin
Do you have a high school graduation (or even a college graduate?) Here’s a few posts other parents have found helpful.
Here Is Every Thing You Need to Celebrate Your High School Graduate
Awesome and Unique Announcements, Gifts and More Ideas For Your Graduate
More Than 15 Fun And Unique High School Graduation Party Ideas
Graduation Photo Scavenger Hunt
Graduation Gifts: 20 Of The Best Ever Books To Give College Graduates
50+ Experience Gift Ideas for Teens that Won’t Make Them Roll Their Eyes
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