42 Graduation Quotes organized by Most Popular
Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.Make good art.I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.
Do not give into this world and let the world set your measure of what is great; let the world set your standards. You have genius, you have greatness, you have glory, you have power inside of you that must be unleashed into the community. Do not settle. Do not yield. You have a truth that must be told.
So from the wise old pinnacle of my 49 years, I want to tell you that what you're looking for is already inside you. You've heard this before, but the holy thing inside you really is that which causes you to seek it. You can't buy it, lease it, rent it, date it or apply for it. The best job in the world can't give it to you.
I've always liked the story of the college student who got a C on his final paper because his idea was implausible. The idea ... an overnight delivery service. The student ... Fred Smith. You may know him better as the CEO of FedEx. So, don't let anyone else take the measure of your worth and capabilities. Always stand proud in who you are.
Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion the bigger paycheque, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a cheerio with her thumb and first finger.
Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous.
The reason you came to college is you didn't know very much. Now you know a little more. But the challenge is to keep building on it. So try something completely different - I don't care, learn something trivial. Learn it well. Sing karaoke, if you dare. Learn to fix something in the house. Help out at a homeless shelter. Start a rock 'n' roll band. Practice a little daring.
As you begin your new journey, you can try to remove everything that you find distasteful in the world, or you can just pour in more love. It's the only thing that the more you give away, the more you have. So take all that warm, fuzzy stuff you've been hiding and spread it around a little. And then judge yourself not by your accomplishments, but by the happiness of the people around you. If you do that, you can do anything, you can go anywhere, you can fail at anything, and wherever you are, you will find a "there" there, because you'll bring it with you.
I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment.
I feel that the main thing to get out of college is a thirst for knowledge. College should teach you how to be curious. Most people think that college is the end of education, but it isn't. The ceremony of giving you the diploma is called commencement. And that means you are fit to commence learning because you have learned how to learn.
Every one of us has a calling. There is a reason why you are here. I know this for sure. And that reason is greater than any degree. It's greater than any paycheque. And it's greater than anything anybody can tell you that are you supposed to do. Your real job is to find out what the reason is and get about the business of doing it.Your calling isn't something that somebody can tell you about. It's what you feel. It's a part of your life force. It is the thing that gives you juice. The thing that are you supposed to do. And nobody can tell you what that is. You know it inside yourself.
There's a story about going to a class of young children and asking these young kids, "Who can write an opera? A symphony? Be a high ranking leader, a politician, an astronaut, a doctor, a president?"And what happens? The whole class, they put their hands up because they don't know what can't be done. They haven't learned that yet. It's all possible. Ask the same questions of that same class five years later, 10 years later, 20 years later and what happens? The hands start going down. Why is that? Because they've been poisoned by this thing called "I can't." They think they already know what's not possible and that's the killer.I've always tried to be that little kid with his hand in the air. It really works to be that naïve, to really think you can do anything.
You are our hope. So cherish this time in your life. Remember who you are. Because, right now, you have it all: The power of your imagination, the velocity of your dreams, the language of innocence, and the passion of a beginner. Don't lose it. Don't let it evaporate or get stripped away or worn away.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. 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. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
You are our link to a new generation. You must reassess, re-examine and clarify your priorities and not just be satisfied with the status quo. Whether you go into research, business, law, medicine, public service or education, neither you nor society can continue to survive or prosper simply by implementing what is already known. Somebody is going to have to come up with meaningful new ideas, creative new approaches and important new discoveries. Why can’t that somebody be you?
Don’t spend so much time trying to choose the perfect opportunity, that you miss the right opportunity. Recognize that there will be failures, and acknowledge that there will be obstacles. But you will learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, for there is very little learning in success.
To those of you graduates sitting out there who have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to do with your life: Congratulations. For many of you who maybe don’t have it all figured out, it’s okay. That’s the same chair that I sat in. Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result. Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard, don’t listen to the critics, and you will figure it out. Class of 2017, I just want you to know you will never be alone on whatever path you may choose. If you do have a moment where you feel a little down, just think about the support you have from this great Trojan family. And imagine me — literally picture my face — singing this song gently into your ear.
About the author
This page was created by our editorial team. Each page is manually curated, researched, collected, and issued by our staff writers. Quotes contained on this page have been double checked for their citations, their accuracy and the impact it will have on our readers.
Kelly Peacock is an accomplished poet and social media expert based in Brooklyn, New York. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Farieligh Dickinson University and has contributed to many literary and cultural publications. Kelly assists on a wide variety of quote inputting and social media functions for Quote Catalog. Visit her personal website here.
Kendra Syrdal is a writer, editor, partner, and senior publisher for The Thought & Expression Company. Over the last few years she has been personally responsible for writing, editing, and producing over 30+ million pageviews on Thought Catalog.