inspirational quotes for students

60+ Inspirational Quotes for Students

School is one of the most challenging aspects of life, and maintaining the motivation and inspiration to keep moving forward can be hard. Not only is it difficult learning new things every day, fighting procrastination, and challenging yourself in subjects you may or may not be good at, but it’s also hard maintaining motivation while dealing with personal obstacles. With body changes, mental health, other students, teachers, and distractions from life outside of the classroom, maintaining motivation and inspiration to keep going can be hard. With relationships, friendships, and family life at home, it can be difficult to balance that while trying to focus on learning, too. 

As a high school or college student, you’re starting to face the realities of life and adulthood, as well as still sitting in a classroom and taking tests and learning. If you’re a high school or college student, sometimes you really need that motivational push and reassurance that everything will be okay. As a teacher–especially of high school or college students–your entire job is guiding your students in the right direction through high school and potentially to college. School is about perseverance, courage, and maintaining a positive attitude even when things feel tough.

If you’re a student in need of some motivational affirmations to get you through the school year, here are some inspiring quotes to serve as a reminder that school can be a great thing. Or, if you’re a teacher looking for some inspirational words to hang up in your classroom about life, work, and success to tell your students, here are some inspirational quotes for students to feel motivated.

Powerful Motivational Quotes for Students

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

-John Maxwell

“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”

-Theodore Roosevelt  

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

-Jim Ryun

“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.”

-Karen Lamb

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

-George Lorimer

“I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.”

-Simone Biles

inspirational quotes for students

“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.”

-Brian Tracy

“Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

-Jim Rohn

“Procrastination is the thief of time.” 

-Edward Young

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

-Thomas Edison

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

Mark Twain

“The expert in everything was once a beginner.”

-Helen Hayes

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” 


“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

-Stephen Hawking

“Believe me; the reward is not so great without the struggle.”

-Wilma Rudolph

inspirational quotes for students

“Your positive action combined with positive thinking, results in success.” 

-Shiv Khera

“Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.”


“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” 

-Babe Ruth

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” 

Winston Churchill

“To excel at the highest level – or any level, really – you need to believe in yourself, and hands down, one of the biggest contributors to my self-confidence has been private coaching.“

-Stephen Curry

“The only person who can stop you from reaching your goals is you.”

-Jackie Joyner-Kersee

inspirational quotes for students

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

-Michael Jordan

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” 

Dalai Lama

Success doesn’t come to you; you’ve got to go to it.” 

-Marva Collins

Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”

-George Sheehan

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

-Vidal Sassoon

“Don’t be afraid if things seem difficult in the beginning. That’s only the initial impression. The important thing is not to retreat: You have to master yourself.”

-Olga Korbut

inspirational quotes for students

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” 

-Pablo Picasso

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” 

Thomas Jefferson

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”

-Colin Powell

Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” 

-Coco Chanel

“Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game.”

-Babe Ruth

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Steve Jobs

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”

-John Wooden

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

-Thomas Edison

“Every artist was at first an amateur.”

Ralph W. Emerson

“We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.”

-Rudyard Kipling

“If you pursue happiness, you are an ordinary person. If happiness pursues you, you are an extraordinary person. Do not chase happiness; let it chase you.”

Peter Deunov

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

Napoleon Hill

Education Quotes for Teachers and Students

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” 

-Malcolm X

“Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.”

-John Holt

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 

-Nelson Mandela

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” 

Benjamin Franklin

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” 

-B.B. King

“Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.”

-Dr. John G. Hibben

“You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.” 

-Conrad Hall

“Passion without a true sense of purpose–without direction and without a desire to work your ass off–is worthless.”

-Melanie Berliet 

inspirational quotes for students

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”


“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

-Anthony J. D’Angelo

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” 

-W.B. Yeats

“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 

Mahatma Gandhi

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” 

-John Dewey

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.” 

Kofi Annan

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” 

Mark Twain

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” 

Albert Einstein

“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” 

-Chinese proverb

“The sky is not the limit. Your mind is.”

-Lynette Simeone 

inspirational quotes for students

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” 

C.S. Lewis

“The learning process continues until the day you die.” 

-Kirk Douglas 

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” 


“I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.” 

-Steven Wright

“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” 

-Og Mandino

“They cannot stop me. I will get my education if it is in the home, school, or anyplace.”

Malala Yousafzai

“The man who does not read books has no advantage over the one who cannot read them.”

-Mark Twain

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

-William Arthur Ward

“Teachers can open the door, but you must enter it yourself.” 

-Chinese proverb

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.”


Good teaching is 1/4 preparation and 3/4 theatre.”

-Gail Goldwin

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

-John Wooden

“Learning is never done without errors and defeat.”

-Vladimir Lenin

If you’re a student, sometimes you need a good empowering quote to give you a push to keep going. Or, sometimes, you need a motivational quote to reassure you that you’re not alone in what you’re feeling. If you’re a teacher, you might also need a powerful quote to inspire you and help you preserve through tough times. Let these quotes serve as a crutch, as motivation. 

Do you have any favorite motivational quotes

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January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.