Are you as sick of reading motivational quotes as we are?! They’re everywhere, on mugs, t-shirts, bags, and even buildings… There must be a reason they’re such widespread and popular things, right? Well, the reason is that quotes work. Even those of us that roll our eyes at motivational quotes can’t exactly deny the positive impact they have on our attitude. And if you’re prone to feel a surge of motivation after reading inspirational quotes, there is science to explain it.

Psychologist and motivation expert Jonathan Fader, PhD, told Fast Company that inspirational quotes can be an incentive to try harder, as you feel a sense that someone else believes in you. Ward Farnsworth, dean of the University of Texas School of Law, also added that motivational quotes work because people are drawn to powerful language that express wisdom. It’s the way the words are put together that can move and influence minds.

Now that we understand the simple psychology behind inspirational quotes, below are some of the most motivational quotes that we have sourced for students. Even the most focused and diligent students sometimes need a bit of a pick-me-up, especially when having one of those days that make you wonder, “What’s the point of all this?’ Indulge in these quotes and give yourself permission to feel inspired!


“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

When you’re stuck on a question or a concept in your studies, what’s even more difficult than trying to understand something that you can’t quite tackle is ignoring the voice within you that thinks you’re somehow incapable of solving this problem. You can feel the frustration rise inside you and get more and more irritated. When this happens, don’t try to ignore the voice; Just silence it by doing. Keep tackling it and if you can’t get it today, try again tomorrow.


“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts

Everyone is busy looking out for themselves. Just as you’re not, nobody else is working their butts off for someone else. This means that unless you speak up and ask for what you want, nobody will notice you or your needs. Try it and see what you get back.


“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” – Christian D. Larson

Have you ever forced yourself to push through something that you thought was impossible in the beginning? Like doing the last set of your exercise program at the gym, staying up one more hour to finish your revision or finishing your night shift after a long day? That little sparkle inside of you that pushes you and helps you to visualise the end goal is always there. You just need to find and activate it.


“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” – William Butler Yeats

You know the saying, “Showing up is half the battle”? Well, yeah, it is HALF of the battle. There are countless others who are showing up just as you are, and you need to fight the other half of the battle to make a difference. Congratulate yourself for showing up, then gear yourself up for the rest of it all. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you; Make good things happen for yourself.


“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” – B. F. Skinner

It’s true. Not everything that you’re studying and memorising for your exams is going to be relevant or useful in your life. But that’s not why you’re studying. When you learn that 13 x 25 is 325, you don’t memorise that. You learn how to multiply. When you stay up until 3AM memorising cases for your law exam, you won’t need to remember them all later on. But you will remember how you studied effectively and persistently, and a love for the topic.


“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” – C. S. Lewis

When your common sense already knows what to do and not to do, it can feel like a bit of a time waster to actually experience these things. Why would you get a burn on your finger if you already know not to touch hot surfaces? Why would you have to get a part time job working your butt off in addition to your uni schedule, if you already value hard work? Because you experience. It’s what you do with your experience and mistakes that matters, not logically knowing what you’re meant to get out of it.


“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

Always remember that everything you’re doing now shapes your future. When you’re feeling uncertain about what kind of future you’ll have, look at what you’re doing now and you’ll get an answer.


“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

Time goes on and life moves on. What matters is what you’re filling that time with. Make it count.


“If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit.” – Banksy

Of course, it can get tiring and exhausting to keep pushing yourself and motivating yourself. But having a difficult time doesn’t mean you should quit completely. Instead, learn how to look after yourself and manage the stress. Learn about your mind and body and find out what reenergises you.


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

Working hard comes with short-term and long-term rewards. If you ask for it, you might get it. If you learn it, you might understand it. If you talk to them, they might remember you. Create your “luck” with your hard work!