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Graduation Day Quotes & Advice

Updated on June 24, 2007

Written by: Jaclyn Popola

My cousin, Todd, graduated high school this week, and as I was making out the greeting card to give to him at his party this afternoon, I found myself thinking that the best gift I could give him, the most important and the most valuable, would be words of wisdom I knew he could relate to. When I graduated high school, everyone was like, "Follow your dreams, hard works pays off, set your sights on a goal, do what will make you the most money" etc. It wasn't all bad advice, but it was the kind of advice meant to apply to the majority of the world -- the go-getters, the over-achievers, the speech-writers, the athletes, the ones who filled their days with extra-curricular activiites, the ones who knew from age twelve what they were going to be when they grew up. I was never that type of person. I internalized everything--the world inside me was always so much bigger than the world around me--so it wasn't the kind of advice I ended up needing. I wanted to share with him the words of wisdom I wish someone would have given me when I graduated.

  • Anything you will ever need, you already have---inside you. The way God made you and the way your family raised you equipped you with every device you will ever need to succeed. You, at this exact moment, already have inner sources of strength the likes of which you could never imagine. They are there for you to use. Draw on them. This is why people say that God will never give you more than you can handle--he knows exactly what you are capable of, and will never give you a challenge you cannot overcome. Besides, what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. Difficult lives offer the most opportunities for learning and advancement.
  • Everything is happening exactly as it should. Think about the beauty of everything that happens naturally: if the earth rotated even a fraction of an inch slower, gravity would cease to exist; our hearts beat in a perfect rhythm without our consciously telling them to do so, our bodies know to breathe even when we are sleeping, our immune systems are equipped to fight off infection and disease, and though the world is full of death, it effortlessly absorbs and decomposes redistributes, turning decay into fertilizer and oxygen. Nothing is without design, and everything is a cycle of rebirth and renewal.. Because you are a part of this, you are at every moment happening exactly as you are meant to.
  • Some people believe that you can never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough. I disagree. When something is truly good, and truly right, and truly meant to be, you can never have too much of it.
  • Forgiveness is an act of true love and should be granted. You can only know if a second chance is deserved by giving one.
  • True love does conquer all. It can overcome any obstacle and battle any external challenge, and love for yourself will sometimes be the only thing that will get you through. But the same holds true for others. No matter how much love you give another human being, it will not be able to conquer their personal demons--unless they have just as much love for themselves.
  • Everything happens for a reason. We can either accept this and move on, knowing we cannot change the past, or we can become victims by letting our circumstances consume and destroy us. You can't control the curve balls life throws you or the obstacles placed before you. The only thing you can control is how you respond to those challenges, how you react to their presence. Likewise, you can never control how somebody else is going to act, or the things they are going to say, you can only control yourself, your own feelings and subsequent actions. Change is the only constant.
  • The only thing that's real is this moment. We can and should plan for the future, but tomorrow may or may not come. The present is the only reality. Enjoy it. Find your bliss today.

  • And last but not least: "I beg you... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." ((rainer maria rilke))

  • Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

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