Back view of a girl with auburn hair wearing a graduation cap and gown. A quote reads, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” —Confucius Tips & Guides

100+ Graduation Quotes for 2021 Seniors

Tips & Guides

Looking for a quote to share with your 2021 graduate? We’ve got you! Here are 100+ quotes for every type of senior. Find funny, inspiring and meaningful quotes.

Back view of a girl with auburn hair wearing a graduation cap and gown. A quote reads, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” —Confucius

Graduating is one of those life moments that can be pretty emotional. Going to school plays a huge role in shaping not only our education but our personalities, friendships, and careers. So, it makes sense for the experience to feel bittersweet. 

It’s a transitional phase that’s filled with uncertainty and possibilities. 

If you’re looking for a few nuggets of advice to get you through, or to share with a fellow classmate, family member, friend that’s a 2021 senior, read on for some of our favorite graduation quotes. Write them in a yearbook, card, piece of fortune-holding jewelry, or say it in a real-life conversation to offer guidance and support. These might just make you laugh, cry, and everything in between.

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High School Graduation Quotes

Whether you loved or loathed fifth period chemistry, running laps in gym class, and your locker spot, your high school days will one day be a distant memory. The beauty of these four years is that it’s just the beginning of growing up. There are limitless opportunities to discover beyond the books. Maybe this experience jumpstarted your curiosity for learning, and was the prep for college. 

Whatever the case may be, these quotes for seniors can serve as inspiration to keep going...

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”– Henry Ford

  • “Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try.” —William Arthur Ward

  • “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” —Albert Einstein

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” —Henry Ford

  • “Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try.” —William Arthur Ward

  • “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” —Albert Einstein

  • “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future.” —Plato

  • “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” —Dr. Seuss

  • “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”– Henry Ford

  • “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

  • “The unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing about your life, is that there is no core curriculum. The entire place is an elective.” —Jon Stewart

  • “Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in.” —Hillary Clinton

  • “Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” —Leonardo da Vinci

  • “Graduation is not the end. It’s the beginning.” —Orrin Hatch

  • Success doesn’t rush. The greatest reward is the journey.” —Jeff Moore

  • “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try it.” —John F. Kennedy
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College Graduation Quotes 

College is yet another chapter of life filled with self-discovery. Perhaps it’s the first time you moved away from home and found out what you’re passionate about career-wise. Graduating can leave you excited yet anxious wondering, what’s next?

The answer is that there’s no right answer. There’s no such thing as a deadline to “figure it out”. Whether you decide to keep learning with another degree or are ready to start your first job, read these meaningful quotes for graduation...

  • Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” —Confucius

  • “Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.” —Oprah

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

  • “Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.” —Kerry Washington

  • “We do not need magic to change the world, we can carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.” —J.K. Rowling

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  —Nelson Mandela

  • “Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you are mostly making things up as you go along.” —Stephen Colbert

  • “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye.” —Helen Keller

  • “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” —E.E. Cummings

  • “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Milton Berle

  • “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” —Jim Carrey

  • “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” —Arthur Ashe

  • “The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse.” —Edward Koch

  • “The best way to create the future is to live it.” —Abraham Lincoln

  • “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” —Theodore Roosevelt

  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done. ”—Nelson Mandela
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Song Lyrics Graduation Quotes

These are the songs that we can help but sing along to. Not only are the melodies catchy but the lyrics are filled messages similar to graduation quotes for friends. Listen closely to the wise words with your best buds and press play whenever one of you needs a pick-me-up.

  • “My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to.” —Rascal Flatts, “My Wish”

  • “Life is a highway, I’m gonna ride it all night long.” —Rascal Flatts, “Life is a Highway”

  •  “If there’s a future, we want it, now.” —Paramore, “Now”

  • "And as our lives change, come whatever, we will still be friends forever." —Vitamin C, "Graduation (Friends Forever)"

  • "It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right, I hope you had the time of your life." —Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"

  • “Hey look Ma, I made it.” —Panic! at the Disco, “Hey look Ma, I Made It”

  • Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten." — Natasha Bedingfield, "Unwritten"

  • "School's out for summer. School's out forever.” —Alice Cooper, “School’s Out”
  • "It's a celebration every time we link up, we done did everything they can think of, greatness is what we on the brink of." —Nicki Minaj, "Moment 4 Life" 
  • "These memories are playing like a film without sound." —Vitamin C, "Graduation (Friends Forever)"

  • "Watch out for me, I'm bound to glow." —Drake, “Glow”

  • “Now is the time to seize the day.” —Newsies, “Seize the Day”

  • “These are the days we’ve been waiting for.” —Avicii, “These Are the Days”
  • “You can take me anywhere the wind blows, right into the great unknown.” —American Authors, “What We Live For”

  • “It ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.” —Miley Cyrus, “The Climb”

  • “They love to tell you stay inside the lines but something’s better on the other side.” —John Mayer, “No Such Thing”

  • “Half time goes by suddenly you’re wise.” —Five For Fighting, “100 Years”
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Graduation Quotes from Movies: 

And, of course, there are a number of wise words from movies. Who can forget the scene when Elle Woods graduates Harvard in Legally Blonde? If you’re feeling unsure of your next move, cut yourself some slack and watch one of the films below. It might just help you see things from another perspective.

  • “You must always have faith in people. And, most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself." —Legally Blonde

  • “Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” —Dead Poets Society

  • “When you decide to be something, you can be it.” —The Departed

  • “Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want. Go for it.” —10 Things I Hate About You

  • “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” —Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  • “What do you want to be in the world? I mean the whole world. What do you want to be? Close your eyes and think about that.” —August Rush

  • “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” –Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” —Lord of the Rings
  • “It’s what you do right now that makes a difference” —Black Hawk Down

  • “Great men are not born great, they grow great” —The Godfather

  • “If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.” —Ratatouille

  • “There’s just no telling how far I’ll go.” —Moana

  • “You control your destiny. You don’t need magic to do it.” —Brave

  • “Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life.” —Ironman

  • “It’s fine to live in the now. But the best thing about now is that there's another one tomorrow. I'm gonna start makin' them count.” —The Spectacular Now 
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Funny Graduation Quotes

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: graduating can be an emotional time. Before diving into the sea of the unknown, remind yourself (or the 2021 senior in your life) that everything will work out. Then, lighten the mood by laughing over one of these funny graduation quotes....

  • “Even if you’re on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” —Will Rogers

  • “You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.” —Benjamin Franklin

  • “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” —Vidal Sassoon

  • “So long as your desire to explore is greater than your desire to not screw up you’re on the right track.” —Ed Helms

  • “So what’s it like in the real world? Well the food is better but beyond that, I don’t recommend it.” —Bill Watterson

  • “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, then by all means you should follow that.” —Ellen Degeneres
  • “Just remember you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • “You will never have more energy or enthusiasm, hair, or brain cells than you have today.” —Tom and Ray Magliozzi

  • “My dear terrified graduates, you are about to enter the most uncertain and thrilling period of your lives. The stories you are about to live are the ones you will be telling your children, and grandchildren, and therapists.” —Lin Manuel Miranda

  • “The only thing that ever sat its way to success was a hen.” —Sarah Brown

  • “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 will get tired and/or cranky.” —Will Ferrell

  • “It’s always a good move to listen to that inner voice…if it doesn’t lead to a crime.” —Lisa Kudrow
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Inspirational Graduation Quotes

Sometimes, you just need a downright source of motivation. A pep talk. Something to cheer you up and remind yourself, “Keep going!” but in a more eloquent way. For times like those, read on for these upbeat sayings...

  • “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” —Steve Jobs

  • “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.” —Mark Twain

  • “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

  • “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”– J.K. Rowling

  • “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

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

  • “Be willing to embrace wonder, to experience unexpected discovery, and to go in unknown directions… Never become so enamored of your own smarts that you stop signing up for life’s hard classes.” —Melissa Harris-Perry

  • “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

  • “Live all of your life. Understand it, see it, appreciate it. And have fun.” —Joss Whedon

  • “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” —Mat Bondi

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

  • Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity." —Will Smith

  • “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” —Winston Churchill
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Graduation Cap Quotes

So, you’re graduating! You did—late nights writing papers, study groups, completed your semesters, and now, you’re ready to roll. To stand out in a sea of caps, make a statement and decorate yours with one of the below graduation quotes...

  • “The tassel was worth the hassle!”

  • “Proud of my B.S.”

  • “Mischief Managed.”

  • “Now hotter by one degree!”

  • “Who’s hiring?”

  • “Officially a B.A.”

  • “I ‘wined’ a lot but I did it.”

  • “Game of Loans.”

  • “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” —Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • “Oh, the places you’ll go!” —Dr. Seuss

  • “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.”

  • “This cap cost me (cost of college).”

  • “I think I’m ready for another adventure.”

  • “The road to success is always under construction.” —Lily Tomlin

 

Looking for a graduation gift? Shop our Graduation Jewelry Gifts for Her.

 

For more blog posts on quotes, read…

Tori Schubert





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