Skip To Content
    This post has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed's editorial staff. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can create a post or quiz. Try making your own!

    10 Quotes Every Grad Needs To Read

    David McCullough, Jr. is best known for his now-famous commencement speech "You Are Not Special." Here are ten quotations every grad must read from You Are Not Special, an extension of his original speech.

    1. "Failure can be, should be, instructive, even inspiring. And if it happens, it happens. The sun will rise again tomorrow. They should learn to fail and not think themselves—or be judged by others—failures."

    2. "Kids need to understand their responsibilities are their own. They need enough freedom that mistakes and stumbles are a possibility."

    3. "Know thyself. This is essential absolutely."

    4. "And like it or not, and for better or worse, your teachers will have an impact on you, possibly huge. ... You should also know, then, thy teacher."

    5. "Teachers ... good teachers ... want to offer their students the insights and experiences they need to grow. Not too complicated, really. This is why they show up in the morning."

    6. "Paper writing, learning, is not about the outcome, the material reward or punishment of a grade. Instead, it's about everything before the grade—the curious pleasure of head scratching, the joy of exploration, of discovery..."

    7. "Maintain an attentive mind and a willingness to engage. Do that and odds are very good soon enough you'll be off on an adventure of your own. ... Before long you too will see work become a pleasure, discovery a joy..."

    8. "An opportunity to be educated is a great privilege, and privilege is a responsibility ... to yourself and to others."

    9. "The true tragedy of death is our denial of it, because in our denials, our mollifications, our delusional evasions, we undermine our capacities, or, worse, our inclinations, to make the most of the brief and finite time we have."

    10. "For the living every moment can have, should have, beauty and meaning."

    David McCullough, Jr.'s You Are Not Special is a love letter to students and parents as well as a guide to a truly fulfilling, happy life.