51 Motivational Quotes For Students Who Need Inspiration

Lauren Holliday

63 Short Inspirational Quotes for Students

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As a student, you surely have felt pressured in one way or another. There is always that relative who asks when you will graduate, or a family friend who tells you that he was once an outstanding student.

It can feel like a burden when you feel expectations from everyone around you. It is as if you can’t even think about taking a break and resting for a while. Failure is not an option.

As a student, it’s important to understand that what you are feeling right now is just a part of the process. Failures, pressures, challenges—these are all things you need to go through in order to achieve success.

In this post, we’ve compiled 63 inspirational quotes about life and struggles for students. This list of motivational quotes will enable you to study well, strive hard, and be a better version of you.

We have broken these quotes into three categories: college, high school, and elementary. Whether you are a kid trying to understand the world, a teenager confused about what to do next, or a young adult looking for your purpose, these words of encouragement can help you find the answer.

Motivational quotes by famous people

1. Michael Jordan

Not only that, when you graduate and step into the real world, you won’t have a syllabus or an academic calendar that tells you exactly what you can expect for every day of the year. That’s a big deal. That fact alone is why you’re going to fail a lot at first. Just remember it’s a learning experience, and the more you practice, the more you’ll succeed.

2. Seth Godin

Seth Godin reminds us that the majority of people will try to shoot down our dreams. They’ll poke holes in your work, your dreams and your ideas — especially when you have little experience and are just starting out. Keep an open mind and listen to their suggestions, but don’t let them deplete you or even stop you.

3. Elon Musk

When you think of Elon Musk, you probably think of a freakin’ superhero. I don’t blame you. He runs, like, nine ridiculously transformative, forward-thinking companies. How could anyone but a superhero do that, right?

4. Tupac Shakur

In this quote, Tupac Shakur is telling us that just because something ends — a job, a relationship, whatever — life still goes on. You have the power to forget about it, and move the eff on.

5. Martin Luther King

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in life, you’re going to face A LOT of disappointments. You may not get that dream job you wanted or your boyfriend might dump you or you might not get that dream job and your boyfriend might dump you simultaneously.

6. Peter Thiel

In the beginning of Peter Thiel’s commencement speech, we learn he almost didn’t become the founder of PayPal. Instead, he almost became a lawyer, but when he didn’t get a coveted clerkship, he decided to give up being a lawyer, and instead, he founded PayPal.

“Looking back at my ambition to become a lawyer, it looks less like a plan for the future and more like an alibi for the present. It was a way to explain to anyone who would ask—to my parents, to my peers, and most of all to myself—that there was no need to worry. I was perfectly on track. But it turned out in retrospect that my biggest problem was taking the track without thinking really hard about where it was going.”

Some of you may be considering graduate school simply because you have no idea what the hell you want to do with your life. Most of the time — unless you want to be a doctor or a lawyer — more school isn’t the answer. Figuring out what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing is.

7. Tina Fey

There will always be assholes in the workplace, which is why Tina Fey’s quote is so important. You don’t want jerks to get away with holding you back, but you also don’t want them to make you miserable. What a quandary, right?

8. Desmond Tutu

At work, you’ll inevitably notice a lot of “yes men.” Yes men just do as they’re told. They don’t ruffle feathers. And they never speak up — even when they know something a superior is doing is wrong and hurting the business.

Why? I want a steady paycheck you say, and so you’d rather not tell your boss he’s wrong. I get it. I do. But there’s safety in numbers. If you know something is wrong, speak up and/or stand up for the people who aren’t afraid to speak up. Your voice can make a difference.

9. Dharmesh Shah

There are going to be people who believe in you and those who won’t. When you find a mentor or a boss or even a friend — anyone who believes for you, sticks up for you, gives you a job or a reference when you’re inexperienced — TLDR: Don’t make them regret it. They took a chance on you, so you owe them your everything to be a success.

10. Ray Allen

At the time, he felt pretty alone, so he focused all of his energy into basketball. Still to this day, he pretty much is alone, he admits. But, today, he’s at peace with his life and happy.

When you’re younger, life is all about fitting in, but when you’re older, life is all about standing out. Standing out is how you land jobs, how you get paid more and how you make it to the top. So don’t steer away from standing out. Embrace it.

11. Ira Glass

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Motivational quotes about work

20. You can fail at anything

Some of you may be choosing a career you’re not excited about — in fact, a lot of you may be. Whether you’re trying to please your parents or trying to keep a steady paycheck, remember that nothing in life is guaranteed.

You can work at the same job for 49 years, and one day, they could just fire you; give you one week of severance pay, and send you on your way. They may not even want to. Maybe the company got acquired or the company is not making enough money and needs to cut staff.

21. Accomplish something

22. Hustle, hustle real hard

“If you can work 40 hours a week and be satisfied with what you have, more power to you. I definitely plan to work less than 40 hours a week during retirement. However, if you are complaining about life and why you don’t have enough money and only work 40 hours a week, you need to get your head checked. We live in a very competitive society and anybody who wants to be better than average can’t work 40 hours and expect to be more than they’re not.”

23. Do a good job

24. Your shoes don’t matter

25. Don’t be normal

“Most importantly, if you can at all avoid it, don’t be normal. Strive, burn and do everything you can to avoid being the industry standard. Even the highest industry standard. Be greater than anything anyone else has ever dreamed of you. Don’t settle for pats on the back, salary increases, a nod-and-a-smile. Instead, rage against the tepidness of the mundane with every fiber of whatever makes you, you. Change this place.”

26. Mediocre – meh

27. You have the power to do more

I urge each and every one of you to seek out projects that leave the world a better place than you found it. We used to design ways to get to the moon; now we design ways to never have to get out of bed. You have the power to change that.