10 Commencement Quotes

We’ve compiled some of the best quotes from recent commencement speeches from all over the country. Hopefully they’ll inspire you as your life after RCTC begins, and we’ll see you at commencement!


Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason to not follow your heart.

Steve Jobs

The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

David Foster Wallace

You might never fail on the scale that I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. 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.

JK Rowling

Thankfully dreams can change. If we?d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don’t achieve it, you haven’t failed and you’re not some loser – but just as importantly – if you do get your dream, you’re not a winner.

Stephen Colbert

The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are’so make up your own rules.”

Neil Gaiman

College is something you complete, life is something you experience. Don’t worry about your grade, or the results, or success. Success is defined in myriad ways and you will find it and people will no longer be grading you. It will come from your own internal sense of decency.

Jon Stewart

“It doesn’t matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping. So get out there and go for it, but don’t be caught waiting. It’s great to plan for your future. Just don’t live there, because really nothing ever happens in the future. Whatever happens happens now, so live your life where the action is now.”

Jerry Zucker

“Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.”

Ellen Degeneres

“Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And remember that the story is never over.”

Conan OBrien

“You will inevitably make mistakes. Learn what you can and move on. At the end of your days, you will be judged by your gallop, not by your stumble.”

Bradley Whitford

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