06/05/2014 01:24 pm ET Updated Aug 05, 2014

Commencement Advice

As commencement season winds down, here's a look at some of the wisdom offered at college graduation ceremonies this spring (without suffering through the ceremony or student loans).

"You can fail at something you don't love, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love." -Actor Jim Carrey at Mahrishi School of Management.

"Because by now it should be clear to you that life is not linear, it takes many twists and turns, and there is no corporate ladder, rather there is a corporate lattice for most women, and you must decide when you want to take the on ramp back onto a career, or some other satisfying occupation and when you want to move sideways rather than up, in order to accommodate your other life priorities." - Zawadi Africa Founder and Coca-Cola executive Susan Mboya at Meredith College.

"Even a bit of spin has its value, so long as you consider the source. Nobody was ever harmed by considering somebody else's interpretation of events. In fact, people with views you disagree with sometimes are in possession of facts that have simply eluded you. It is not a weakness to change your mind; it is a strength." - Media critic Bob Garfield at Albright College.

"Listening to others, especially those with whom we disagree, tests our own ideas and beliefs. It forces us to recognize, with humility, that we don't have a monopoly on the truth." - Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, at New York University.

"Get involved. Find your passion. And never give up. Keep going. Because you cannot effect change from the sidelines. Whether it's in a soup kitchen, in uniform or in the United States Senate, as we serve, we not only help others, we change ourselves.

"We do not have to compel citizens to serve their country," a great man once said. "All we have to do is ask..." So I am here today, to ask you to serve. Because when you work for change, you'll be surprised by how much you can change your community, your state, your country, the world." - Victoria Reggie Kennedy, co-founder of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, at Western New England University.

"If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person--Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan named Malala--can change the world by giving people hope." - U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McRaven at University of Texas-Austin.

"The good news is that life itself can teach you about you, which is a very important subject. If you don't have a clear hunch about what you want and how to match it with reality, it may come to you later if you find a way to give it a chance. It may be way in the back of your head somewhere, that something you care about but have no earthly idea how to turn into something. Let's face it. Nobody likes to say it in America, but for all our devotion to freedom, the kind you had here academically and the kind you will find as you leave here today, can be a scary thing." -MSNBC's Chris Matthews at the University of Rochester.

"As the pace of change globally only accelerates, most of us cannot get through an entire professional working lifetime with a single skill set. We must keep on learning, growing, stretching, reinventing ourselves." - 'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot Capt. Chelsey B. Sullenberger at Nova Southeastern University.

"As you move forward, as you find your passion and commit to it, just remember that you will be asked to, and you will, rise to the occasion." - Civil rights attorney Nina Perales at Bard College at Simon's Rock.

"Go forth and raise strong families remembering that all you can ever leave behind is your reputation, your good works and your children for the next generation." - Colin Powell, High Point University.