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Graduation Quotes That Are So Bittersweet

Graduation Quotes That Are So Bittersweet

Parting is such sweet sorrow… If you’re graduating this spring, then these quotes are for you! After the arduous year we just had, it’s important to take time to reflect back on all the mountains you moved, and all the seas you tamed during your undergraduate career. So read these bittersweet graduation quotes that are sure to give you all of the feels!

1. “Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” – Senator Orrin Hatch

It’s true! When one door closes, another door opens! Although it might feel like “the end,” really, your whole life is just getting started! This is the beginning of your career, the beginning of your story. In the next couple of years, maybe you’ll meet “the one” and get married. Maybe you’ll land your dream job, or maybe you’ll finally find a place of your own. So, while it’s sad to close this chapter of your life, it’s also exciting!


2. “When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing. In testing times, we became the best of things.” – Amanda Gorman

After everything you’ve been through this last year, in spite of it all, you graduated! You were able to pull off great grades with remote learning. You were able to adjust to a pandemic, and you keep your cool during a toxic presidential election. Not to mention the all-nighters you pulled cramming for exams, or the many 10-page research papers you had to write last minute. Take a deep breath, you did it! The hardships you endured over the last four years made you stronger, and now here you are, with your cap and gown. Celebrate!

3. “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

If this last year didn’t teach you to “size the day,” I don’t know what will. Go out there and take chances! Dare to dream, and don’t be afraid to fall, because you will fall. But know that you’re going to pick yourself back up, and you will find your way. So don’t choose the life your parents always wanted for you, choose what will make you the happiest. 


4. “When you leave here, don’t forget why you came.” – Adlai E. Stevenson

Your whole life is ahead of you. You have wonderful adventures on the horizon; a potential family, a passionate career, a new home… In all the excitement, don’t forget where you came from. Our roots help shape us into the people we are today, and it’s important to never just wipe that away. As your final weeks wind down, don’t forget everything college taught you, and everything it gave you. 


5. “Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.” – Oprah Winfrey

When college ends, you can get a little lost. There’s not a clear career path to follow anymore, and there’s this whole big world out there you’re suddenly a part of. While it can feel overwhelming, know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Not every internship or job will open more doors. Sometimes, you learn more about yourself doing those jobs that are not meant for you.

You’ll find your way, just be patient. 


6. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A. A. Milne

Yes, I’m crying too! It’s hard to say goodbye to a life we created and lived for four years! College can feel like home, and your heart might hurt a little extra knowing it’s ending soon. But take a moment to feel so damn lucky you got to experience it all! Think of all the new friends you made, the clubs you joined, the teachers who inspired you, and the wild parties you went to. It was a fun ride, right?

7. “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” – Michael Josephson

While you might be sad things are ending (and ending in not the way you imagined), really try to enjoy every minute of it. Appreciate how your parents fuss over your cap and gown, and how your teachers are writing speeches to make you feel special. Enjoy studying for finals, because you’ll never have to do that again! Every part of graduating is sweet, even the bittersweet moments. 


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

You might be scared of change, scared of stepping out into the world, but there are amazing things waiting for you. Your life is just beginning- the adult you’ll soon be, the parent you can be, and the bad-ass boss lady you will be–they’re out there. Turn your tassel with pride and go after it! 


9. “Long live all the mountains we moved, I had the time of my life, fighting dragons with you.” – Taylor Swift

I love Taylor Swift and thought the lyrics to her song Long Live were perfect for graduating. Think of all the friends you made over the years and everything you guys went through. Think of all the late nights you studied together and last-minute coffee runs that were made. Think of all those times you two ditched class or all the insane parties you went two, and how your bestie was right there on the bathroom floor holding your hair back as you puked your guts out. Long live all the memories you made. Take them with you, wherever you go next. 


10. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Come on, you thought I’d leave out Dr. Suess! Like everything else in life, all good things must come to an end. And while college is ending, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because you got to live these last four years, and grow! You learned so much and you’re on your way to brighter things. 

Kid, you’ll move mountains.


Did any of these graduation quotes give you the feels? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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