Graduation Messages: A Guide to What to Write in a Graduation Card

graduation message

When someone special in your life is graduating it marks a time of celebration and good wishes. Whether you are celebrating together or apart, sending a graduation card to congratulate them on their achievement is the best way to wish them well! Unsure what to write in this special note? We’ve got you covered with over 100 graduation messages perfect for any family member or friend you want to say “hats off” to!

Before getting started, we’ve provided a quick guide below all around graduation wishes and what to write in a graduation card. Once you’re well versed, choose one of our 114 graduation messages to personalize your card and share a greeting that will make them feel as accomplished as they are!

Where to Start: What to Write in a Graduation Card


When attending a graduation ceremony or celebrating from afar and sending a gift, you don’t want to forget the card. The new grad will have plenty of family and friends to greet and most likely will be trying to chat with everyone. In order to share just how proud you are and get all the right words across, opt for writing your kind wishes in a graduation card that’s sure to make them feel as special and accomplished as they deserve. To help you find the perfect way to say “congrats!” we’ve outlined the best tips and steps for what to write on a graduation card. Keep reading for a complete guide to graduation messages.

Step 1: Address Whether You Can Attend or Not

If for whatever reason you are celebrating apart acknowledge how proud you are of them and how excited you are to see them next. Even when you can’t make it to the commencement ceremony or reception, you can still make your presence felt by letting the graduate know you’re with them in spirit. To share how much you are cheering them on from afar jump to our “when you can’t make it” graduation quotes to kick off your graduation card with a thoughtful note.

Step 2: Recognize Their Achievements

Whether they’re earning a diploma, a program certificate, a degree or even a new professional title, their hard work deserves some warm, thoughtful words of recognition. Remind them of how far they’ve come and share the feat they’ve accomplished through graduating. Jump to our “congratulations!” graduation messages to get the creative juices flowing!

Step 3: Share a Fond Memory

If you’ve known them since they were young or you just recently met, remind them of a special time you shared together and how it impacted your life. This moment could be small or significant  — whatever the experience, remark on it together through a note in their graduation card that they will cherish forever. For inspiration jump to our “genuine graduation” messages  for a sweet way to remember old times.

Step 4: Offer Advice for the Future

Graduation often marks the beginning of a new chapter and is a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Whether you are younger or older than the grad, offer a piece of advice they can use to help navigate through the journey they are about to embark on. For inspiration jump to our “inspirational” graduation messages to pick the perfect way to send them off into the unknown.

Now that you have explored the best tips and tricks for writing a heartfelt graduation card, peruse our graduation messages to select thoughtful words and phrases to include in your sign off or greeting. We’ve covered every type of greeting below!

Short Graduation Card Messages to Say Congrats Graduate!


Sometimes, a short and sweet message is all that’s needed to get your message across. When your sentiment requires little words, opt for a short graduation message to say congratulations!

  1. “Caps off to you!”

  2. “Cheers to your accomplishments!”

  3. “Way to go!”

  4. “Congratulations, we are so proud of you!”

  5. “Congratulations, all of your hard work has paid off!”

  6. “The world is your oyster.”

  7. “Adventure awaits you!

  8. “Hats off to the grad!”

  9. “Cheers to 4 years!”

  10. “Cheers to the next 4 years!”

When You Can’t Make It Graduation Messages


Life can get complicated, so when graduation ceremonies get cancelled or you can’t attend, send your warm wishes from afar. Choose one of our graduation messages that express your thoughts and hopes for the grad while celebrating apart.

11.“Congratulations on your high school graduation, I wish I could be there to celebrate with you and your family.”

12. “Even though we’ll miss seeing you in your cap and gown, we would never miss this chance to tell you we’re proud of you.”

13. “Sending warm thoughts and best wishes to a graduate we’re proud of.”

14. “Thinking of you with love and pride on your graduation day.”

15.  “Happy graduation! Wish we could be there to see it.”

16. “I wish I could be at your graduation to tell you in person how proud I am of you.”

17. “We can’t wait to see you next and celebrate your graduation!”

18. “Our warmest thoughts are with you as you celebrate today!”

Congratulations Graduation Messages

To give them the boost of confidence they deserve, choose a quote that speaks to their accomplishments and efforts spent on their education. These “well done” graduation messages will make any card special!

19. “Congratulations on your accomplishments. The best is yet to come.”

20. “You’re a rockstar and you accomplished all on your own! We are so proud of you!”

21. “It took a lot of hard work to reach this goal. I hope you feel great about what you’ve accomplished, and I hope you’ll continue to be a person who shows up day in and day out for those things that are worthwhile and important in life.”

22. “We knew you could do it! You have made us so proud.”

23. “Here’s all the late nights spent in the library. Your hard work has paid off!”

24. “Congratulations, I’m so proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished.”

25. “So glad we could be here to watch you graduate.”

26. “Never forget that there is nothing you can’t accomplish when you believe in yourself.”

Genuine Graduation Messages


For remembering old times and expressing your excitement for the future, include a genuine graduation message that will put a smile on their face.

27. “We’ve shared so many great memories together and now another one will be watching you graduate. Congratulations on your achievements!”

28. I am so proud of you and can’t wait to take on the world with you!”

29. “I am so proud of you and have enjoyed watching you grow!”

30. “I hope you are as proud as yourself as I am of you!”

31. “Hope you are always full of dreams like you are today.”

32. “Follow your heart!”

33. So excited for you and incredibly proud of you. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you!”

34. “Congratulations to the start of your next adventure!”

35. “Adventure is out there!”

36. “Your family must be so proud!”

37. “Best wishes on your new adventure!”

38. “Here’s to the next chapter in your life. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish!”

Inspirational Graduation Messages


With so many friends and family wishing the grad well, pick an inspirational graduation message that will stand out from the rest.

39. “Take pictures. Take your time celebrating. Take it easy for a while. Then get ready to take on the world!”

40. “Always remember: There’s no limit to what you can do if you keep believing in yourself.”

41. “I’ve loved following you and your journey. Here’s to the next four years.”

42. “Here’s to a sweet ending and to a new beginning!”

43. “Never wait for the perfect moment. Instead take this moment and make it perfect!”

44. “We’re proud of your accomplishments and the person you’ve become”

45. Shoot for the stars and if you miss you’ll land among stars.”

46. “School is almost over, but the learning has just started. Here’s to the rest of your life, my friend.”

47. “Let your dreams be your wings!”

48. “Congratulations graduate. Always remember that the most difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”

Famous Graduation Messages


If writing isn’t your forte, lean on the famous words from politicians, entrepreneurs and dreamers. Use one of these famous graduation messages to top off your grad card!

49. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius, Chinese Philosopher

50. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”  —  John F Kennedy, Former United States President

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

52. “All of dreams will come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney, American Entrepreneur

53. “When your dreams become reality, they’re no longer your dreams.”  — Hugh Jackman, Actress

54. “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essayist

55. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” — Dr. Suess, Author

56. “Nothing happens until something moves.”  — Albert Einstein, Physicist

57. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”  —  E.E. Cummings, Poet

58. “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…. on your way!  — Dr. Suess, Author

59. “You can never be overdressed or over educated.”  — Oscar Wilde, Poet

60. “You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”  —  Ray T. Bennet, Author

61. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”  — Dr. Seuss, Author

62. “It is absolutely still possible to make a difference.”  — Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States

63. “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”  — Anthony Robbins, Author

64. “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”  —  Henry Kissinger, Former United States Secretary of State

65. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”  — Maya Angelou, Poet

66. “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”  — B.B. King, Preacher

67. “I’m gonna go get one of those job things.”  —  Rachael Green, “Friends”

Funny Graduation Messages for the Jokester

If your style is satirical or sarcastic, choose a funny graduation message that will be sure to get a giggle.

68. “With character like yours who needs a mouse?”

69. “Nobody’s perfect — but that’s why we have erasers on pencils! Congratulations on your graduation!”

70. “Congratulations…now get a real job!”

71. “Congratulations…now move out!”

72. Congratulations, it’s time to party!

73. “Here’s to the end of eating top ramen for the last four years!”

74. “Congratulations on fulfilling the minimal job requirement.”

75. “Congratulations on graduating. Did you ever think this day would come? We didn’t either.”

76. “As you graduate don’t forget to thank those who helped you get here: Google, Command F. and copy and paste.”

77. “Congratulations…it only took 5 years.”

78. “The light at the end of a tunnel may not be a train!”

79. “Welcome to adulthood!”

Graduation Wishes Between Friends


Friends can become your family when navigating school and life. Celebrate each other’s accomplishments with these special graduation wishes between friends.

80. “You have helped me during trials and tribulations and I hope I have done the same. Here’s to graduating together and starting the rest of our lives, friend.”

81. “Congratulations, as Elle Woods said, ‘We did it!’

82. “Congratulations to us, we’re finally done!”

83. “I’ve cherished our time spent together and I can’t wait to take on the next chapter of our lives as friends!”

84. “Today campus, tomorrow the world!”

85. “I couldn’t have gotten through this chapter of my life without you. I’m so thankful that you’re in my life.”

Graduation Sayings to a Son


Watching your child succeed can be one of the most rewarding moments in a parents life. Share just how proud of them that you are with one of our graduation sayings to a son.

86. “What feels like the end is often the beginning. Cheers to your graduation, son!”

87. “The only way out is through and you’ve done it son. Congratulations on graduating and I wish you all the best.”

88. “You’ve made your old man so happy. I can’t wait to see what else you accomplish.”

89. “You’ve made your mother so happy and I couldn’t be more proud of you!”

90. “Congrats, son. Your graduation is a proud day for you and a dream come true for our family.”

91. “Great results come from hard work. You amaze me, son.”

92. “It seems like just yesterday you were just a kid starting high school…now you’re a confident young man about to receive your diploma.”

Special Grad Messages and Wishes to a Daughter


Seeing your little girl grow up and conquer the world deserves celebration. Send a special grad message or wish to your daughter with one of our warmhearted quotes.

93. “Daughter, our family is beyond proud to be related to someone so accomplished.”

94. “Know what makes your graduation extra special? It’s having watched you grow up, having so many good memories of you and knowing all the challenges you’ve worked through to get to this day.”

95. “It’s a beautiful thing, watching the daughter we’ve always loved growing up and getting one step closer to her dreams. Congratulations, with all our love!”

96. “Congratulations daughter, graduation is an exciting time. It marks both an ending and a beginning.”

97. “Congrats daughter, graduation represents warm memories of the past and big dreams for the future.”

Graduation Messages from Parents or Grandparents

Watching your grandchild graduate marks a new chapter in their and your life. Celebrate this new milestone alongside them and wish them a special graduation message from a grandparent or parent.

98. “Congratulations, with love for the grandson you are and with pride in the amazing person you are becoming.”

99. “It’s been our joy to watch you grow and achieve so much these past four years.”

100. “Hope you know how proud we are and how much we love you.”

101. “Congratulations from your loving parents. We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see how you change the world!”

102. “Congratulations kiddo! Start each day believing in your dreams.”

Now that you are well equipped with graduation card ideas, you are ready to write a heartfelt note expressing how proud you are. If you are a recent grad and are looking for inspiration to mark your graduation read our graduation captions for social media.

Graduation Captions for Social Media

Due to current events, many graduations are turning virtual! Choose a funny graduation caption for social media to make the most of the event!

103. “Spent four years at school to graduate in my living room”

104. “Spent four years in the classroom to graduate virtually”

105. “Finally done with this B.S. (Bachelor of Science)”

106. “Throw your caps in the air, like you just don’t care”

107. “And just as you have graduated the adventure begins!”

108. “I didn’t want to go to graduation anyway”

109. “Been taking online classes all year to prepare for this graduation”

110. “Cheers to all of the grads today and in the upcoming week who won’t get the chance to walk across that stage!”

111. “Graduation 2021:The one where they were quarantined.”

112. “People judged me for taking online classes but now I’m the most prepared for graduation”

113. “I thought college was gonna go fast but I didn’t expect it to Zoom”

114. “Graduations may be canceled but the celebrations are not!”


However you are celebrating the graduate in your life, send a card or gift that shows how truly proud you are. For ideas and inspiration explore all of our “congratulations” gifts meant to spoil every grad for all they have accomplished. We tip our hats to you graduates and wish you well on your future endeavors! Cheers!