Graduation Quotes from Famous Films About Success
March 22, 2023 5:00 AM EST
Graduation quotes are most popular during commencement exercises at the end of a school year.
However, their value does not diminish as graduates progress through different stages of their journey toward their future.
Let’s put a different spin on famous movie lines instead of traditional graduation quotes from scholars to create motivation and inspiration among our new grads.
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According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, approximately 3.6 million high school students are expected to graduate in the US every year.
This means that graduation is a significant moment in the lives of millions of young people, and commencement speeches and quotes can have a lasting impact on their future.
Tell us your favorite graduation quote in the comment section below.
What are the benefits of reading these graduation quotes?
Hopefully, these quotes:
- encourage them to embrace their future despite the challenges they will face
- will help them understand struggle and success
- teach them that life is unpredictable, impermanent, and imperfect
If you’re about to graduate or know of one who will read on.
These graduation quotes from notable characters of both classic and modern films are rich in wisdom and life lessons.
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Our inspirational quotes category page has motivational quotes for all the different areas of life.
Graduation Quotes from Famous Films About Success
A study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University found that graduates who heard inspiring speeches and quotes during their commencement exercises were more likely to have a positive outlook on their future career prospects.
This suggests that graduation quotes can be a powerful source of motivation and inspiration for young people.
1. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Ian McKellen as Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings“
You will also enjoy our article on funny yearbook quotes.
2. “Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” – Robin Williams as John Keating in “Dead Poets Society”
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Dead Poets Society quotes to make you think differently.
3. “Don’t ever let anybody tell you they’re better than you.” – Sally Field as Mrs. Gump in “Forrest Gump“
You will also enjoy our article on famous movie quotes.
4. “Every man dies, not every man really lives.” – Mel Gibson as William Wallace in “Braveheart“
You will also enjoy our article on Shrek quotes.
5. “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.” – Morgan Freeman as Red in “The Shawshank Redemption“
You will also enjoy our article on Spiderman quotes.
6. “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Tim Robbins as Andy in “The Shawshank Redemption”
You will also enjoy our article on alice in the wonderland quotes.
7. “I don’t want to survive. I want to live.” – Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in “12 Years A Slave”
8. “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” – Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore in “Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets” (see more quotes from Dumbledore)
9. “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” – Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in “A League of their Own”
10. “Make your life spectacular.” – Robin Williams as Jack Powell in “Jack”
You will also enjoy our article on Braveheart quotes.
Graduation quotes that are rich in wisdom
A survey of over 2,000 high school and college graduates conducted by PR Newswire found that 89% of respondents said they were inspired by the speeches and quotes they heard at their graduation ceremonies.
This highlights the importance of incorporating meaningful and impactful quotes into commencement speeches.
11. “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” – Grandmother Willow in “Pocahontas”
12. “The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” – Prince of Genovia, ‘The Princess Diaries‘
13. “The past can hurt. But, you can either run from it or learn from it.” – Rafiki in “The Lion King“
14. “This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.” – Edward Norton as the Narrator in “Fight Club“
15. “When you decide to be something, you can be it.” – Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello in “The Departed”
16. “With great power comes great responsibility.” – Cliff Robertson as Ben Parker in “Spiderman”
17. “You cannot live your life to please others. The choice must be yours.” – White Queen in “Alice In Wonderland“
18. “You dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith as Chris Gardner in “The Pursuit of Happyness”
You will also enjoy our article on Black Panther quotes.
19. “You have to get lost before you find yourself.” – Margo Roth Spiegelman in “Paper Towns”
20. “A teacher has two jobs: fill young minds with knowledge, yes, but more important, give those minds a compass so that that knowledge doesn’t go to waste.” – Olympia Dukakis as Principal Helen Jacobs in “Mr. Holland’s Opus”
Also, read these memorable first day of school quotes.
Graduation quotes that will inspire you to embrace your future
According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, more than 80% of professionals believe that networking is important for career success.
By including graduation quotes that emphasize the value of building relationships and making connections, readers may be encouraged to develop their own professional networks.
21. “After a while, you learn to ignore the names people call you and just trust who you are.” – Shrek in “Shrek The Third”
22. “At some point you’ve got to decide for yourself who you gonna be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” – Mahershala Ali as Juan in “Moonlight”
23. “Do or do not. There is no ‘try’.” – Yoda in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”
24. “Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want. Go for it” – Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona in “10 Things I Hate About You”
25. “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.” – Black Panther
You might also like these graduation quotes on success, dreams and your future.
26. “I can’t tell you any sure way to happiness. I only know that you’ve got to go out and find it for yourselves.” – Gene Lockhart as Dr. Selden in “Carousel”
27. “It’s what you do right now that makes a difference.” – Brian Van Holt as Sgt. Struecker in “Black Hawk Down”
28. “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.” – Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes in “Batman Begins”
29. “We are who we choose to be.” – Spiderman
30. “Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them.” – Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox in ”Wall Street”
You will also enjoy our article on Gladiator quotes.
Graduation quotes on embracing new opportunities
According to a study conducted by the University of California, individuals who practice gratitude tend to experience improved mental health outcomes, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
By including graduation quotes that encourage gratitude and appreciation, readers may be encouraged to cultivate a more positive outlook on life and improve their mental well-being.
31. “Life is not the amount of breaths you take. It’s the moments that take your breath away.”- Will Smith as Alex Hitchens in “Hitch”
32. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Ferris Bueller quotes from the hit comedy.
33. “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams as John Keating in “Dead Poets Society”
34. “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” – All About Eve
35. “Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image.” – Kirsten Dunst as Betty Warren in “Mona Lisa Smile”
36. “I don’t regret the things I’ve done, but those I did not do.” – Lucas, ‘Empire Records’
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Coach Carter quotes from the inspiring sports drama.
37. “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.” – Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
38. “The human spirit is more powerful than any drug and that is what needs to be nourished with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter.” – Robin Williams as Dr. Malcolm Sayer in “Awakenings”
39. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” – Jason Scott Lee as Bruce Lee in “Dragon – The Bruce Lee Story”
40. “The more we all know about each other, the greater the chance we will survive.” – Anthony Hopkins as Bill Parrish in “Meet Joe Black”
Don’t forget these insightful college quotes as well.
Graduation quotes that are full of life lessons
According to a study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, individuals with bachelor’s degrees earn 84% more over their lifetimes than those with only a high school diploma.
By including graduation quotes in your article that emphasize the importance of education and hard work, readers may be encouraged to pursue higher education and improve their career prospects.
41. “There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.” – Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”
42. “They don’t make you what you are, you do. You are what you choose to be.” – Harry Connick Jr. as Dean McCoppin in “The Iron Giant”
43. “Some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright.” – The Shawshank Redemption
44. “We can’t retract the decisions we’ve made. We can only affect the decisions we’re going to make from here.” – Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice in “Law Abiding Citizen”
45. “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.” – Robin Williams as Maxwell Wallace in “August Rush”
46. “When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you.” – Kevin Costner as Roy McAvoy in “Tin Cup”
47. “Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you are born to stand out?” – Oliver James as Ian Wallace in “What a Girl Wants”
48. “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” – Braveheart
49. “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” – Robin Williams as Sean Maguire in “Good Will Hunting”
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Good Will Hunting quotes to help you realize your potential.
50. “Don’t let them run over you. . . You got to fight.” – The Color Purple
You will also enjoy our article on Batman quotes.
More graduation quotes and sayings
51. “Only if you find peace within yourself will you find true connection with others.” – Palm Reader, ‘Before Sunrise’
52. “You have to be a little bit crazy to do great things.” – The Dark Knight
53. “There’s no such thing as an unsolvable problem.” – The Matrix
54. “Nothing happens to anyone that he is not fitted by nature to bear.” — Maximus, Gladiator
55. “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” – Bernard Baruch
56. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs
57. “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” – Maximus, ‘Gladiator’
58. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland
59. “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
60. “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.” – Ella Fitzgerald
Don’t forget to also check out these senior year quotes for graduation and the yearbook.
Graduation quotes to inspire success in your life and business
61. “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.”- Colin R. Davis
62. “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – Gen. George Patton
63. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
64. “Never give up, never surrender.” – Jason Nesmith, ‘Galaxy Quest’
65. “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”- Chris Grosser
66. “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vince Lombardi
67. “Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” – Winston Churchill
68. “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.” – Oprah Winfrey
69. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”- Winston Churchill
70. “Great men are not born great, they grow great.” – Don Vito Corleone, ‘The Godfather‘
You will also enjoy our article on best rap quotes.
Graduation quotes to keep in mind as you consider college
71. “College isn’t the place to go for ideas.” — Helen Keller
72. “The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.” — William James
73. “Getting through high school and college was one of my greatest achievements.” — Ann Bancroft
74. “It is virtually impossible to compete in today’s global economy without a college degree.” — Bobby Scott
75. “When we make college more affordable, we make the American dream more achievable.” – William J. Clinton
76. “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” — Michael Dell
77. “College isn’t in everyone’s hearts. I am living proof, though, that school doesn’t mess up your plans. It gives you more experiences to write about.” — J. Cole
78. “You are graduating from college. That means that this is the first day of the last day of your life. No, that’s wrong. This is the last day of the first day of school. Nope, that’s worse. This is a day.” — Andy Samberg
79. “A college degree is not a sign that one is a finished product but an indication a person is prepared for life.” – Edward A Malloy
80. “The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” – Bob Harris, ‘Lost In Translation’
You will also enjoy our article on Hippie quotes.
Graduation Quotes To Motivate You To Go For Further Studies
81. “Education is something we have to keep pursuing day after day.” — Premier Brian Gallant
82. “One half who graduate from college never read another book.” — G. M. Trevelyan
83. “Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.” — Dr. John G. Hibben
84. “It’s not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts.” — Millard Fuller
85. “Your education has prepared you for whatever happens.” — Roderick Paige
86. “Graduates, we need you to save the world.” — Pierce Brosnan
87. “To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” — A. A. Milne
88. “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” — Oprah Winfrey
89. “It is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” — George Burns
90. “Look at education as a continuous lifelong journey.” — Catherine Pulsifer
You will also enjoy our article on January quotes.
Graduation Quotes To Encourage You Live A Positive Life
91. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” — Whip Hubley as Sam’s Dad in “A Cinderella Story”
92. “To infinity and beyond!” — Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear in“Toy Story”
93. “You must always have faith in people. And, most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.” — Legally Blonde
94. “Everything is possible, even the impossible.” — Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns
95. “Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life.” — Ironman
96. “You control your destiny – you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” — Merida in Brave
97. “If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.” — Gusteau in Ratatouille
98. “There’s just no telling how far I’ll go.” — Moana
99. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
100. “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
You will also enjoy our article on Godfather quotes.
Graduation Quotes From Films To Face Reality of Life
101. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” — The Wizard of Oz
102. “In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back.” — Fortune
103. “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.” — Professor X
104. “Our lives are not fully lived if we’re not willing to die for those we love, for what we believe.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
105. “Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” — Alan Turing
106. “The way it works is, you do the thing you’re scared shitless of, and you get the courage AFTER you do it, not before you do it.” — Archie Gates
107. “Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life, but it ain’t how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” — Rocky Balboa
108. “Every man dies, but not every man really lives.” — William Wallace
109. “Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!” — The Nightmare Before Christmas
110. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” — Jaws
Graduation Quotes To Celebrate Your Achievement
111. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” — Dr. Seuss
112. “The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match, each one of you is a fuse.” — Ed Koch
113. “Find a partner to love and a job you adore so much you would do for free—although you really do have to demand that they pay you.” — Gail Collins
114. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis
115. “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
116. “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” — Theodore Roosevelt
117. “Graduation is the first step to truly living. Graduation is also the first time you are able to do what you want with your life, without anyone holding you back or telling you no.” — Michael Pipper
118. “Instruction ends in the schoolroom, but education ends only with life.” — Frederick W. Robertson
119. “I just wanted to say that you’re all winners. And I could not be happier that this school year’s ending.” — Mr. Duvall
120. “Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.” — Kerry Washington
Graduation Quotes to Unlock Your Potential
121. “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” ― Oprah Winfrey
122. “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
123. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ― Confucius
124. “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
125. “Dream big and dare to fail.” ― Norman Vaughan
126. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ― Wayne Gretzky
127. “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” ― Christian D. Larson
128. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
129. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” ― Mark Zuckerberg
130. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ― Michael Jordan
Do you have any more lines to add to the list?
Start a fun tradition where you collect inspiring quotes from fictional or real-life characters from films and share them with your fellow graduates or a special graduating individual or group.
Then pledge to support them in their new pursuit to seize the future.
Remember, there’s a reason a graduation ceremony is also called a commencement exercise.
Graduations are beginnings, new opportunities to pursue goals and dreams by making the best decisions.
As Eames said in the film “Inception,” do not “be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.”
Which of these wise graduation quotes resonated with you best?
Did we miss any other inspirational quote?
Let us know in the comment section below.
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June 1, 2022 at 1:55 AM
Never look back, always look forward.! Tomorrow is here.
It is now. It is your destiny! Doc “D”