Whether you are starting your first year exams or finishing your final year, we have compiled a list of the Top Ten inspirational quotes to get you through these challenging, yet exciting, times.
To begin our list I had to start with my own personal hero, David Bowie, giving us the encouragement to not fear the feeling of being overwhelmed and to always delve outside of our comfort zones.
If you feel safe in the area that you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further in to the water than you feel capable of being in, go a little out of your depth and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.
Inspired by words such as the above, my favourite comedian/feminist writer, Caitlin Moran, emphasises the importance of individuality, looking to David Bowie for some lifetime inspiration.
When in doubt, listen to David Bowie. In 1968, Bowie was a gay, ginger, bonk-eyed, snaffle toothed freak walking round South London in a dress, being shouted at by thugs. Four years later, he was still exactly that – but everyone else wanted to be like him too. If David Bowie can make being David Bowie cool, you can make being you cool. PLUS, unlike David Bowie, you get to listen to David Bowie for inspiration. So you’re one up on him, really. YOU’RE ALREADY ONE AHEAD OF DAVID BOWIE.
The next quote is from Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at Maharishi University in 2014, a truly inspirational quote that speaks to all of us who have doubted our abilities to follow and succeed in our aspirations.
You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
Another of my literary favourites, Oscar Wilde, gave us many things, but in particular, he gave us this astounding quote which I will forever live by.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken
It was difficult to narrow down Maya Angelou’s long list of inspiring quotations to put in this piece, but I had settled for this one. A mantra which I’m sure will be useful to those feeling like they’ve hit a brick wall with their work: You are not, its just your attitude. Trust me. Many a deadline has been reached with this quote.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Dreams may seem cliché and you probably will be hearing lots about them in commencement speeches or talking about them when attempting to write your first cover letter, but things only ever become cliched because they’re true, and the great Eleanor Roosevelt was no fool.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Queen J.K. Rowling is next with this quote, reminding us that we are not defined by what is on our CVs or what skills we can provide for others, but rather the choices we make and the paths that we take.
It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
William Shakespeare has these classical words to live by, and in this cultural and political climate, it seems that more people need to read back to the Bard for some guidance.
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
Tim Minchin’s Commencement Address at UWA in 2013 is quite possibly the most inspiring speech I have ever watched, and one that all of us – students, graduates, parents, people – need to listen to.
You don’t need to already know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. I’m not saying sit around smoking cones all day, but also, don’t panic. Most people I know who were sure of their career path at 20 are having midlife crises now.
Last, but by no means least, is innovator Steve Jobs, moving away from his design lingo and eye for perfection to give us some real-life advice; when all is said and done, it all comes down to being true to yourself.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.