100 Inspirational Quotes For College Students & Recent Grads

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A little inspiration will help you through some of the darkest nights and help you see the light.

Have you hit a point in college or early on in your professional career after graduation where you have lost all motivation and hope for the future?  Have you started questioning yourself? Do you feel like you are stuck in a dark tunnel and cannot see the light?

If your answer to all three of these questions is yes, then you are in the right place for some inspiration.

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Whether you're college bound, a college student taking your finals or a recent graduate ready for adulthood, you may be feeling like your path in life is foggy. You cannot see very far ahead and you never know when your path will take a sharp turn. Some days you may feel as if you are dragging yourself up a steep mountain, while on other days, you may feel like you are running downhill while you are trying to keep up.

You may even be feeling as if you are being left in the dust while the world keeps turning and even feel scared of your future. What you are feeling is normal.

Sometimes it takes a little longer for everything to fall into place, so don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t go your way right away. It may take longer to find your place. Isn’t it true that the best things in life take time? Stay patient because it will be worth it.

Stay positive in the midst of your failures because your failures make you who you better. Learn from your mistakes so that you are prepared the next time something similar happens.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not good enough to do anything. Even though others may doubt you and your capabilities, prove them wrong.

Follow your passion. Don’t let anyone influence what you pursue as a career. Do what you want to do because you are the one who has to go to work every day. Might as well love what you do.

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So, here are 100 inspirational quotes for college students and graduates to keep you motivated in the early days of your career, whether it be in college, looking for your first job, or full-on-adulting.

You will find everything you dream for and more with these college quotes. It just takes time.

1. Don’t let anyone block your path to achieving your goals.

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it from you.” —B.B. King

2. It’s important to keep trying.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” —Thomas A. Edison

3. Keep your spirits up. It will keep you going.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill

4. There are no magic tricks to achieving your greatest dreams.

“There is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” —General Colin Powell

5. Prove the people who question you are wrong.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and the voice will be silenced.” —Vincent Van Gogh

6. Some days feel like you are climbing a skyscraper.

“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” —Zig Ziglar

7. Your greatest fan is yourself.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” —Christian D. Larson

8. Sometimes your first plan doesn’t work. That just means you will find a better way.

“The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.” —James Yorke

9. Keep improving yourself.

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

10. Your education will take you to places you never thought were possible.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” —Dr. Seuss

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11. Be determined in everything you do.

“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” —George Lorimer

12. Always give 100%.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” —Vince Lombardi

13. Enjoy what you do so that everything else is worth it.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.” —Pele

14. Always try.

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” —John Wooden

15. Enjoy every moment.

“College is the best time of your life. When else are your parents going to spend several thousand dollars a year just for you to go to a strange town and get drunk every night?” —David Wood

16. Hard work comes in all shapes and sizes.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” —Thomas A. Edison

17. Knowledge can change the world.

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

18. Self-satisfaction makes all your hard work worth it.

“Study hard, no matter if it seems impossible, no matter if it takes time, no matter if you have to be up all night, just remember that the feeling of success is the best thing in the entire world.” —khangal_wehearit

19. You will achieve bigger and better things in the future.

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” —C.S. Lewis

20. Work hard now so that you can rest later.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” —Malcolm X

21. Stay aware of all of your options.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” —Alexander Graham Bell

22. You may fail, but is it really failing?

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” —Les Brown

23. Because of teachers, students become the best they can be.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” —Albert Einstein

24. The first step is deciding to do something.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” —Gail Devers

25. Spark interest.

“Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible.” —Robert M. Hutchins

26. Sometimes it’s best to just observe.

“You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.” —George Clooney

27. You learn from your failures.

“I’ve failed over and over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” —Michael Jordan

28. There is no easy way to success.

“It will not happen cutting corners, taking shortcuts or looking for the easy way! There’s only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, repetition, study and discipline.” —nimo_wehearit

29. Outwardly express confidence even if you don’t feel it.

“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.” —Venus Williams

30. Your best is all that can be asked for.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou

31. Only you can hold yourself back.

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” —Karim Seddiki

32. Stress is not fashionable.

“Stress does not go with my outfit.” —#bossbabe

33. Sometimes you succeed where you least expect it.

“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by then I was too famous.” —Robert Benchley

34. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t go out and try.

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” —Leonardo da Vinci

35. Sometimes it’s hard to believe you can do some things.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” —Nelson Mandela

36. Sometimes you will achieve greater things by staying small instead of shooting big and losing yourself in the process.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” —Vincent van Gogh

37. Believe in yourself and you will believe in your future.

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

38. Persist. Persist. Persist.

“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” —E.O. Wilson

39. Do the hard work now so that you can reap the benefits later.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” —Benjamin Franklin

40. The best job in the world is something you love doing.

“Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose.” —Oprah

41. Let your passions drive what you do with your life.

“Turning your passion into your job is easier than finding a job that matches your passion.” —Seth Godin

42. Always be the best you can be so that others will shoot to do the same.

“You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.” —Harvey S. Firestone

43. What is perfection?

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”—Unknown 

44. Stay positive.

“Instead of looking at the hundred reasons to quit, look at the thousand reasons not to give up.” —Kushanowizoom

45. Courage is the drive to do what you want.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” —Walt Disney

46. Believe you can achieve your goals.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”Anatole France

47. Teachers give students the tools to succeed.

“If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s heroes.” —Guy Kawasaki

48. You can always be better, even if you have mastered something.

“Do not make your goal to be the best. Best is a label. It’s something someone else decides for you. ‘Better’ is more personal.” —Baryshnikov

49. Everything in life is complicated.

“If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it’s only because they do not realize how complicated life is.” —John Von Neumann

50. When you become too comfortable, you aren’t pushing yourself.

“Your biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable.” —Drew Houston

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51. Always be kind to others and others will be kind to you.

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” —Mark Twain

52. Every little thing does not warrant panic.

“Rule no.1 is: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule no. 2 is:  It’s all small stuff.” —Robert Eliot

53. You can do anything.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” —Philippians 4:13

54. Bring your own habits to the table.

“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” —Aristotle

55. It may be scary to take the road less traveled, but it will lead you to the best rewards.

“Follow your fear.” —Tina Fey

56. You are strong when you can succeed in the midst of destruction.

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” —David Brinkley

57. Not doing something will keep your life unfulfilled.

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” —Nora Roberts

58. Your attitude makes you excellent.

“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” —Ralph Marston

59. It’s rewarding to help others.

“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” —Minor Myers Jur

60. Listen to your heart.

“In life you make the small decisions with your head and the big decisions with your heart.” —Omid Kordgstani

61. Don’t let worry stop you from doing something.

“Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.” —Swedish Proverb

62. Failure is less painful when you enjoy what you do.

“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” —Jim Carrey

63. Your success is from being happy.

“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

64. Always give 110%.

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” —Jimmy Johnson

65. You will never stumble onto success, you will work for it.

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort,” —Paul J. Meyer

66. What may be hard now will make you stronger in the long run.

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C.S. Lewis

67. Make your dreams a reality.

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” —Yoko Ono

68. Be willing to help others achieve your dreams.

“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” —Tony Gaskin

69. Dreams are more interesting than reality.

“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.” —Tupac Shakur

70. Make your dreams happen.

When your dreams becoming reality, they’re no longer your dreams.” —Hugh Jackman

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71. Being busy doesn’t mean you are accomplishing anything.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” —@examgradebooster

72. Sometimes what is important will not reveal itself until you are ready.

“When the student is ready, the master appears.” —Buddhist Proverb

73. Your imagination is where everything begins.

“Imagination… is the elixir of life, the seed of greatness.” —Melowpark College

74. Little accomplishments every day makes your life have purpose.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” —Robert Collier

75. Don’t get stuck in the past.

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” —C.S. Lewis

76. Believing in something makes it tangible.

“You have to believe it before you see it.” —Unknown

77. Being a good person is better than only being a successful person.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” —Albert Einstein

78. Embrace the rules as a guide to your future.

“Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you.” —37 Signals

79. Are you confused yet?

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?” —Captain Jack Sparrow

80. Start small and soon you will be doing big things.

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” —Confucius

81. Nothing is a better motivator than failure.

“It’s the pain and failure that teaches you the best lesson in life and motivates you to rebuild yourself and stand again with a robust faith.” —Priti Chaubey

82. It is important to remember who supports you.

“Whenever you start to doubt yourself. Remember those who believe in you.” —PictureQuotes.com

83. The sky’s the limit.

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” —Mary Kay Ash

84. There is always a way to make things better.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” —Albus Dumbledore

85. Believing in yourself is the biggest factor in success.

Working hard is important, but there is something that matters even more: Believing in yourself.” —Harry Potter

86. You never stop learning.

“Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.” —Bruce Lee

87. Sometimes you underestimate yourself.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, & stronger than you seem, & smarter than you think.” —A.A, Milne

88. Keep moving towards your greatest dreams.

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

89. Always be supportive of yourself and to those around you.

“I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.” —Lou Holtz

90. Knowing who you are is more important when you look at your past and when you move towards the future.

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

91. Don’t let others tell you how to live your life.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” —Steve Jobs

92. If you believe you can do it then you can.

“Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.” —Joe Paterno

93. Self-confidence opens the door to success.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” —Helen Keller

94. Sometimes people get upset that others are so positive, but your positivity keeps you going.

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” —Herm Albright

95. Defy the odds.

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” —Walter Bagehot

96. If you believe you can do it, then nothing will stop you from succeeding.

“Everything begins inside your mind. With the right mindset you will succeed.” —Gymquotes.com

97. Don’t do anything that will put your future at risk.

“During exams, students look up for inspiration, down in desperation, and left and right for information.” —searchquotes.com

98. When you put in the work, you make yourself who you want to be.

“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” —dahnyoga.com

99. You can create your own destiny.

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

100. You control where you go in the future.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” —Dr. Seuss

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Emily Francos is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.

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