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50 Best Sentimental Quotes For Graduation

Best Sentimental Quotes For Graduation Day
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Life can happen faster than you think.

One moment you're going to Kindergarten and before you know it, many of the goals and dreams you had in childhood are reached on the day you graduate from school. And what better way to celebrate your upcoming graduation day with sentimental quotes and inspiring words to share with your friends, in greeting cards and on social media?

Brooke Davis of One Tree Hill shared a quote with one graduating class that put this feeling into perspective, 

One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for some day and then, quietly without you ever really noticing, some day is today, and then someday is yesterday, and this is your life.” 

Life goes on; sometimes even faster than you expected to. There is nothing that any of us can do about it other than bask in the wonderful moments that we are given, and live a purposeful life. 


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Graduation season especially is a time where many of us like to sit and reflect back on the life we have lived thus far. Whether it be graduating from high school, graduating from college, moving up a level in your life, graduation can be scary and confusing.

It is as though every possible feeling that a person could ever feel hits us at once. We are nervous yet scared yet excited yet sad. The uncertainty of what is going to happen next is usually what gets the best of us, which is why it is so important and helpful to get a reminder on graduation day that every once in a while as to why we are able to overcome literally anything.

You have the ability to be fearless and strong and it is time that the rest of the world acknowledged that. Never forget to trust the journey. Because it is YOUR journey, and doing whatever makes you happy is the best way to go.


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So whether you are graduating in a few months, a year, or not graduating at all, remember to always believe in yourself the same way others believes in you!

To make this whole experience of moving up and on and life easier, we have put together a list of 50 sentimental quotes that will leave your heart strong and you really inspired for your graduation day celebration.


1. Live the life you’ve always wanted. 

"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 Sanders


2. The best life lessons can come to you the hard way. 

"Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do." — Oprah Winfrey


3. The only person’s opinion on your life that you should value is your own. 

"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." — Steve Jobs


4. Make sure you do everything with a divine purpose. 

"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


5. Figure out what means the most to you. 

"You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship." — David Foster Wallace 


6. Shoot for the stars. Even if it’s beyond the social “norms”.

"A world where men ran half our homes and women ran half our institutions would be just a much better world." — Sheryl Sandberg 


7. Create the most artful life for yourself. 

"From my point of view, which is that of a storyteller, I see your life as already artful, waiting, just waiting and ready for you to make it art." — Toni Morrison


8. Make choices and take action. 

"Take action. Every story you've ever connected with, every leader you've ever admired, every puny little thing that you've ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life." — Bradley Withford


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9. Don’t ever let your work consume you. 

"Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first." — Anna Quindlen 


10. The best part of life is that you get to create your own. 

"As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own." — Michael Dell


11. Always remember that your life, is YOURS. 

"There is no script. Live your life. Soak it all in." — Dick Costolo 


12. You have the ability to be a strong leader. 

"But real leadership comes from the quiet nudging of an inner voice. It comes from realizing that the time has come to move beyond waiting to doing." — Madeleine Albright


13. As Maya Angelou says, always "live with life".

"I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve." — Maya Angelou


14. Your failures make you who you are.  

"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


15. Make up your own rules.

"The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules." — Neil Gaiman


16. You need to remember that you are able; always.

"Yes, we can." — Barack Obama 


17. Strive for excellence in every stage of your life. 

" ... be aware that even before you have reached your ultimate professional destination ... you can and should have a substantial impact on the world in which you live." — Sandra Day O’Connor 


18. Nothing comes easy, and when it does, it isn’t worth it. 

"You'll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. Never." — Woody Hayes


19. It is okay to make mistakes without regret.

"And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here." — Neil Gaiman


20. Always keep your dreams big and worries small. 

"Last but not least, I would say you should have big dreams, full dreams, not half dreams. You know, it's very simple. You can't put a large box in a small box. Well, you cannot put a full life in a small dream box." — Elias Zerhouni


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21. It is important to be fearless. 

"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


22. Fear will only exist if you let it. 

"Fear is primarily a creation of the mind. I create it in my mind—it doesn’t really exist outside the mind. I can dissolve it there as well." — John Mackey


23. Make it your goal to leave an impact. 

"Not only can you not plan the impact you’re going to have, you often won’t recognize it when you’re having it." — Dick Costolo


24. Keep yourself going. 

"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


25. Dream while you’re awake. 

"It doesn't matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping." — Jerry Zucker


26. Trust your intuition. 

"For the most important decisions in your life, trust your intuition, and then work with everything you have, to prove it right." — Tim Cook


27. Be respectful to everyone.

"Respect people with less power then you. I don't care if you're the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful. So there." — Tim Minchin


28. Don’t be afraid of change, for it is what shapes you. 

"This is your time and it feels normal to you but really there is no normal. There's only change, and resistance to it and then more change." — Meryl Streep


29. Don’t get too comfortable.

"Your biggest risk isn't failing, it's getting too comfortable." — Drew Houston


30. Be willing to work harder. 

"That diploma you hold in your hands today is really just your learner’s permit for the rest of the drive through life. Remember, you don’t have to be smarter than the next person, all you have to do is be willing to work harder than the next person." — Jimmy Iovine


31. Find the secret to your happiness. 

"Pursue whatever it is that you want to do with your life. It is the only secret to happiness that I know except for maybe true love, that and maybe having the amazing health insurance plan that our congressmen have." — Lewis Black


32. Do what needs to be done. 

"Creativity is a consequence of action, not its motivation. Do what needs to be done and then ask whether it was possible." — Wade David


33. Live a good life. 

"Here's the thing: the world is not going to issue you an engraved invitation to this life." — Sarah Hedit


34. Desires are greater than fears. 

"Don’t let your fears overwhelm your desire. Let the barriers you face—and there will be barriers—be external, not internal. Fortune does favor the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you’re capable of unless you try." — Sheryl Sandberg


35. Use the renewable resource inside of you. 

"Creativity is a renewable resource. Be as creative as you like, as often as you like, because you can never run out!" — Biz Stone


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36. Forget and lose yourself every once in a while. 

"In order to fulfill yourself, you have to forget yourself. In order to find yourself, you have to lose yourself." — David Brooks


37. It’s OK for you not to have the answers.

"As you get older, you realize that no one has all the answers. It turns out that life is an exercise in living with the certainty of uncertainty." — Jason Kilar


38. Do your best today. 

"The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today." —​ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


39. Go into unexplored territory.

"When you embark for strange places don’t leave any of yourself safely at the shore… Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory." — Alan Alda


40. You will be okay. 

"There will be times when your best isn’t your good enough. There can be many reasons for this, but as long as you give your best you’ll be OK." — Robert DeNiro


41. It is important to embrace every life lesson. 

"Some life lessons don’t ever change. But how you embrace them will distinguish you from the pack." — Brooke Shields


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42. Try to remove fear from your life. 

"The opposite of love isn't hate. It isn't even indifference. It's fear." — Mary Karr


43. You don’t need to know everything that’s going to happen next. 

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


44. Good friends make the world go round. 

"To be your own person, you need good friends. Friends are the treasure of your life." — Garrison Keillor


45. All the values that matter lie within you. 

"You have nothing to lose. Everything you have acquired of value is locked inside you." — Jerry Zucker


46. Live your life without planning everything out.

"Sometimes, the only way to discover who you are or what life you should lead is to do less planning and more living..." — Daniel Pink


47. You will peak as long as you believe. 

"You will have failures in your life, but it is what you do during those valleys that will determine the heights of your peaks." — Rahm Emanuel


48. Give it your all, always.

"Just remember, you can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." — Arnold Schwarzenegger


49. Always ask “why not?” when people question you.

"When people tell you not to believe in your dreams, and they say "Why?", say "Why not?"" — Billie Jean King


50. Leave your city. Literally and figuratively. 

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing, but what you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself." — Alan Alda


Lani Akingbade is a writer residing in New Jersey. When she is not pitching and creating articles for YourTango, she is reading stories, catching up on her academics, or painting.


If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve got the best quotes to share and savor. For quotes from the most inspiring celebs, activists, and poets, look no further! You might even find the quote that motivates the best parts of your life (and love!) forever.
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