motivational quotes for university students

116 Best Motivational Quotes For University Students

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

Like this post? Click the buttons below to share it on your socials!

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Alexandra Markin

No matter where you are in your education journey – just starting university, studying for finals or a recent graduate, being a student can be stressful. As a university student myself, I’ve compiled 116 of the best motivational quotes to help university students succeed.

Finding motivation and inspiration daily can be a challenge.

A study looking at the rhetoric in motivational quotes confirms that quotes inspire people, so posting that quote above your desk as a visual reminder to achieve your goals really does work.

Have an exam coming up? Check out this list of inspirational exam quotes specifically curated to help overcome any exam fears and boost your test-taking confidence!

Click in the table of contents below to jump to any section where you feel you need the most motivation today. You got this!

Motivational Quotes To Help University Students Study Harder

Studying is hard. Not having the life you want is hard. Choose your hard. – Online Student Life

1. “You don’t get what you wish for. You get what you work for.” – Daniel Milstein, Ukrainian entrepreneur

2. “Studying for one hour is less than 5% of your day. You can make it through 60 minutes.” – Online Student Life

3. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

4. “Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” – Ann Landers, American columnist of Ask Ann Landers

5. “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” – Sean Patrick Flanery, American actor

6. “See the things that you want as already yours.” – Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret

7. “Motivation is what sets you in motion, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun, Former US Representative

8. “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

9. “Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work.” – Usain Bolt, Jamaican runner

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

11. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke, professor

12. “Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich

13. “A lot of hard work is hidden behind nice things.” – Ralph Lauren, American fashion designer

14. “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” – Sam Ewing, musical composer

Motivational Quotes To Overcome Fear And Failure

15. “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair, real-estate developer

16. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie, American author

17. “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

18. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister

19. “Do not be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John Rockefeller, American business magnate

20. “Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

21. “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” – Zig Ziglar, American author

22. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison, American inventor

23. “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

24. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Susan Jeffers, author of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

25. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

26. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison, American inventor

27. “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” – Theodore Roosevelt,

Motivational Quotes To Help University Students Overcome Procrastination

28. “Success is a result of daily disciplines compounded over time.” – Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect

29. “You won’t always be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined.” – Online Student Life

30. “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher

31. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain, American Writer

32. “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” – Chris Grosser, American entrepreneur

33. “Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait – The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.” – Gene Hayden, American baseball player

34. “If you have goals and procrastination, you have nothing. If you have goals and you take action, you will have anything you want.” Thomas J. Vilord, author

35. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States

36. “The greatest amount of wasted time is time not getting started.” – Dawson Trotman, author

37. “Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.” – George H. Lorimer, American journalist

38. “A little study progress each day adds up to big results. You’ve got this!” – Online Student Life

39. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur

40. “A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” – Dalai Lama

41. “Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.” – Victor Kiam, American entrepreneur

42. “Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing.” – William Arthur Ward, American author

43. “A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large.” – Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby, American author

44. “How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time.” – Fred Brooks, American software engineer

Related Content: How To Study When You Don’t Feel Like It

Motivational Quotes For Student Success

45. “Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it.” – Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich

46. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison, American inventor

47. “It’s never too late to get a degree, learn a new skill or change your career. Learning doesn’t stop after high school or university – it’s a lifelong journey for success.” – Online Student Life

48. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” – Jillian Michaels, American personal trainer and businesswoman

49. “The Lord gave us two ends – one to sit on and the other to think with. Success depends on which one we use the most.” – Ann Landers, American columnist, “Ask Ann Landers”

50. “F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” – Zig Ziglar, American author

51. “Knowledge + action = the life of your dreams. Keep pushing.” – Online Student Life

52. “Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude.” – Ralph Marston, AmZerican football player

53. “It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer

54. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King, American author

55. “Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.” – Dale Carnegie, author of How To Win Friends and Influence People

Motivational Quotes To Help University Students Build Determination

56. “The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information.” – Jen Sincero, author of You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

57. “Every artist was first an amateur. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

58. “Don’t study because you have to. Study because knowledge is power. Knowledge is your most valuable asset. No one can take that away from you.” – Online Student Life

59. “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar, American author

60. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

61. “This is your sign to stop scrolling social media, get out your books, and study. At some point inspiration must change into action.” – Online Student Life

62. “It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” – Jillian Michaels, American personal trainer and businesswoman

63. “Focus on your goal. Don’t look in any direction but ahead.” – Unknown

64. “Even the greatest were beginners. Don’t be afraid to take that first step.” – Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer

65. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich 

Motivational Quotes To Believe In Yourself

66. “We all have a different beginning, middle and end. Comparison is the thief of joy – your own goals are always the right ones. Stay focused on them.” – Online Student Life

67. “Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

68. “Attitude, not Aptitude, determines Altitude.” – Zig Ziglar, American author

69. “It never gets easier you just get better.” – Jordan Hoechlin, TV commercial & music video director

70. “Learn to be your own study inspiration. Others can only carry you so far.” – Online Student Life

71. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher, author

72. “No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it.” – Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich 

73. “My only fault is that I don’t realize how great I really am.” – Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer

74. “I don’t think limits.” – Usain Bolt, Jamaican runner

Motivational Quotes To Help You Plan For The Future

75. “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers: The Story of Success

76. “This year is the beginning of anything you want. Put in the work and watch your life change. A lot can happen in 365 days, so make each one count!” – Online Student Life

77. “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” – Zig Ziglar, American author

78. “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President

79. “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor

80. “Studying is a form of self-care. You’re taking care of yourself and your future.” – Online Student Life

81. “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra, baseball catcher

Funny Graduation Quotes

82. “When they hand you your diploma, keep moving. Just in case they try to take it back.” – Unknown

83. “The only thing that ever sat its way to success was a hen.” – Sarah Brown, American actress

84. “Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself.” – Mark A. Cooper, author

85. “Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you are mostly just making things up as you go along.” – Stephen Colbert, American comedian

86. “A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.” – Robert Orben, American comedy writer

87. “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” – Tom Bodett, American author

88. “So, what’s it like in the real world? Well, the food is better, but beyond that, I don’t recommend it.” – Bill Watterson, American cartoonist

89. “Now that you’ve graduated, just remember: Bosses don’t usually accept notes from your mother.” – Melanie White, teacher

90. “You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.” – Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States

91. “I could have said something profound, but you would have forgotten it in 15 minutes – which is the afterlife of a graduation speech.” – Art Buchwald, American humorist

92. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon, British hairstylist & businessman

93. “I can’t wait to hear your name horribly mispronounced at the graduation ceremony.” – Unknown

94. “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.” Will Rogers, American actor

95. “Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money.” – Gary Bolding, author

96. “The unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing about your life, is that there is no core curriculum. The entire place is an elective.” – Jon Stewart, American comedian

97. “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark, American Politician

98. “Experience is the only school from which no one graduates.” – Unknown

99. “Big pay and little responsibility are circumstances seldom found together.” – Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich 

100. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.” – Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer

Motivational Quotes For Graduation

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

102. “Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

103. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich

104. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

105. “There’s nothing wrong with ordinary. I just prefer to shoot for extraordinary.” – Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect

106. “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

107. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

108. “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, 26th US President

109. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland, American actress

110. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

111. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President

112. “I couldn’t wait for success. I went ahead without it.” – Jonathan Winters, American comedian

113. “No one ever died from an open mind.” – Jillian Michaels, American personal trainer and businesswoman

114. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, poet and thinker

115. “We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us.” – Andrew Ryan, fictional character in BioShock

116. “Not everything of value in life comes from books. Experience the world.” – Thomas Edison, American inventor

What’s your favourite motivational quote? Share in the comments below!

Like this post? Click the buttons below to share it on your socials!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart