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120 Most Inspirational & Motivational Quotes for College Students

Are you having a hard time staying motivated with your studies? Check out these best motivational quotes for students to help you get inspired.

Kayleigh Fernandez



Two college students high five with motivation

Everyone has had that moment when there’s an essay due in an hour, and there’s only the title on the page. Everyone has studied for a test the night before, not knowing if they’ll get a good grade.

Sometimes, it’s hard to get going. Sometimes, you lose sight of the point of your work, and you get discouraged. Sometimes, you’re waiting for a single thing to motivate you.

Especially in the times of COVID, students have been less motivated because of online school. A return to school can be daunting after a year of being locked inside.

I’m a little apprehensive myself. However, that’s not going to stop me from working hard once I get back, no matter what it takes.

It may sound cheesy, but sometimes, we need something to look to for motivation. I’m sure we all remember the little posters on our teacher’s walls — like the cat that says “hang in there!”

Sometimes, a silly quote (or even a serious one) will change your outlook for the moment.

That is why I have compiled the best list of motivational quotes for students. Check them out below. I hope they help you get inspired and encourage you to always do your best.

In this post:

Inspirational Quotes for College Freshmen

1. “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan

2. “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” – The Doctor

3. “When I was 5 years old, my mother told me that happiness is the key to life. I went to school, they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

4. “I pay no attention whatsoever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

5. “The optimist is a pessimist with a plan.” – Bangambiki Habyarimana

6. “Everyone you meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye

7. “Take control of your life. The instant you take control, interesting things will come to you.” – Douglas Adams

8. “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

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

10. “Seventy percent of life is just showing up.” – Woody Allen

11. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

12. “Focus on doing the right things instead of a bunch of things.” – Mike Krieger

13. “It never gets easier. You just get better.” – Jordan Hoechlin

14. “Great men are not born great, they grow great.” – Mario Puzo

15. “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”- Chris Grosser

16. “Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.” – Zig Ziglar

17. “The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.” – James Yorke

18. “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent van Gogh

19. “Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.” – Kerry Washington

20. “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

Related: 110 Most Uplifting Self-Care Quotes to Transform Your Life Today

A quote for motivation


Quotes College Life

1. “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

2. “Let us endeavor so to live, that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.” – Mark Twain

3. “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare

4. “Be yourself and people will like you.” – Diary of a Wimpy Kid

5. “Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.” – Franklin P. Jones

6. “Live each day like it’s your second to the last. That way you can fall asleep at night.” – Jason Love

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

8. “The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.” – Swati Sharma

9. “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh

10.  “All progress takes place outside of your comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

11. “The noblest question in the world is: What good may I do in it?” – Benjamin Franklin

12. “Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun.” – Nina Dobrev

13. “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”- Bill Watterson

14. ​​“The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” – Richard Bach

15. “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footsteps in your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

16. “The friends you make in college are friends you’ll have for life, even if you don’t talk for years at a time.” – Jessica Park

17. “Right after college, there’s this sense that your friends are your family.” – Greta Gerwig

18. “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.” – Benjamin Button

19. “I live for the nights I can’t remember, with the people that I won’t forget.” – Drake

20. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

Related: 80 Best Life is What You Make It Quotes-The Ultimate Guide

Funny Motivational Quotes

1. “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” – J.W. Stephens

2. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams

3. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky  – Michael Scott

4. “If you’re too lazy to reach the TV remote, you need to reevaluate your life.” – Unknown

5. “Save your best socks for your worst day.” – Unknown

6. “I hate quotes.” – Gus Sorola

7. “Just do it!” – Shia Labeouf

8. “I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.” – Edna Mode

9. “Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you’re donating blood.” – Bill Murray

10. “People often say that motivation won’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

11. “The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” – Robert Frost

12. “Do or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda

13. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

14. “Even if you’re on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

15. “Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” – Charles Dickens

16. “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” – Oscar Wilde

17. “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

18. “Life is like a sewer… what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.” – Tom Lehrer

19. “Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.” – Robert Brault

20. “Always remember that you are unique – just like everybody else.” – Unknown

Related: 100 Motivational Quotes for Exams – The Ultimate Student Guide

Motivational Quotes for Students To Study Hard

1. “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

2. “Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time.” – Chinese Proverb

3. “You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall.” – Will Smith

4. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

5. “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.” – Joe Girard

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

7. “Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work.” – Usain Bolt

8. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

9. “Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow.” – Richard Baxter

10. “It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

11. “A mind of moderate capacity which closely pursues one study must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study.” – Mary Shelley

12. “It is useful to study different traditions in order to be free of attachment to any one way of expressing what is beyond expression.” – Ravi Ravindra

13. “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” – John Maxwell

14. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson

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

16. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

17. “If people only knew how hard I’ve worked to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” – Michelangelo

18. “Motivation is what sets you in motion, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

19. “Without studying the soul sick.” – Seneca

20. “Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of an effort of intelligence.” – John Ruskin

Related: 160 Sad Quotes That Will Heal Your Soul

Motivational Quotes for Students To Succeed

1. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

2. “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick

3. “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” – Jean Giraudoux

4. “The mighty oak tree was once a nut that stood its ground.” – Unknown

5. “People make mistakes. It’s part of growing up. And never really stop growing.” – Jake the Dog

6. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

7. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

8. “The best revenge is massive success.” – Frank Sinatra

9. “We can’t retract the decisions we’ve made. We can only affect the decisions we’re going to make from here.” – Nick Rice

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

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

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

13. “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision. They have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” – Muhammad Ali

14. “I think it’s possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” – Elon Musk

15. “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

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

17.  “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou

18. “Nothing will work unless you do.”  – Maya Angelou

19. “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” – Horace Mann

20. “What makes greatness is starting something that lives after you.” – Ralph Sockman

Related: New Year’s Resolution Ideas: 100 SMART Goals To Improve Your Life

Quotes for Students Graduating

1. “We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us.” – Andrew Ryan

2. “The circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” – Mewtwo

3. “People Used To Ask Me What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up And I Would Say What A Stupid Question The Real Question Is What Am I Now?” – Jaden Smith

4. ​​”My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter and became Picasso.” – Pablo Picasso

5. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to always know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

6. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – John Lennon

7. “Make yourself proud.” – John Green

8. “Sometimes it is necessary to take unpopular positions. I have to live with my conscience a lot longer than I have to live with my job.” – Senator Frank Church

9. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

10. “If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

11. “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.” – Greek Proverb

12. “Stand up and walk. Keep moving forward. You’ve got two good legs. So get up and use them. You’re strong enough to make your own path.” – Edward Elric

13. “If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.” – Terry Pratchett

14. “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” – Theodore Roosevelt

15. “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

16. “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

17. “The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match, each one of you is a fuse.” – Ed Koch

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

19.  “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

20. “Go forth and set the world on fire.” – St. Ignatius of Loyola

Related: Five Brilliant Quotes from Enola Holmes that Reflect and Address the Women of Today

I hope that some of these quotes got through to you. I think that everyone has a person that inspires them in their field. S

eeing someone who had great success can be motivational fuel. Work hard and smart! Stay on your toes and keep your head up. And finally, never lose focus and stay motivated!




120 super inspiring quotes to motivate college students

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