What to Write in a Graduation Card

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Meaningful messages for a graduation card include offering words of encouragement for the future, advice to the new graduate and thoughtful well wishes explaining why one cannot attend the graduation. Graduation card messages can be lengthy and meaningful or short and sweet, depending on how well you know the individual graduating. Here are some tips for crafting the perfect congratulatory message.

Offer Encouragement for the Future
Send graduates an optimistic message that looks towards the future. Be very optimistic in the message and convey excitement in the note. Mention happiness for the graduate and offer congratulations. Mention how hard the graduate has worked to get to this point. He or she will appreciate the acknowledgement.

Let graduates know positive accomplishments are expected in the future and mention his or her unique strengths and talents. Depending on the relationship with the graduate, offer personal messages of encouragement.

Message ideas include the following:

  • "You’ve worked so hard, now it’s time to reap the benefits."
  • "Congratulations and best wishes on your future!"
  • "Follow your dreams! Glad that they are coming true."
  • "Great job! Looking forward to your future accomplishments."

Offer Advice to the New Graduate
A graduation is a great occasion to offer words of wisdom to someone embarking on a new future. Give advice with a gentle touch. Use any lessons learned that may be helpful. Many people appreciate advice especially if it is considerate. Be very upbeat with the advice. Never sound manipulative or judgmental.

Ways to gently offer advice are:

  • "You worked very hard for this special day. Take a deep breath and smell the roses. As you embark on your new adventures, remember all of the effort that it took to reach where you are now and apply that to your new aspirations."
  • "There's no time like the present. Celebrate life, celebrate joy and capture it all on film for lasting memories."
  • "Remember this moment and cherish it for life. I know I will!"

When You Cannot Attend the Graduation
Sometimes important events like graduations do not fit in the schedule. Most graduates understand this but still appreciate kind words on their accomplishments. The tone here varies depending on how well one knows the graduate. Be sure to send the card well ahead of the graduation date so that the graduate doesn't feel like an afterthought.

Some examples of graduation well wishes when one can’t make it are:

  • "Wish I could be there! Just remember that I'm very proud of you and appreciate all of your hard work."
  • "Even though I am far away, I will be there in spirit. Never forget this. Know that I will be thinking about you on your special day."
  • "Sending warm hugs and hearty congratulations your way. I want to know all about your graduation. Be sure to fill me in on your special day!"
  • "Missing your graduation doesn't mean that I am missing out on your accomplishments. Congratulations!"

Graduation cards are a great way to send inspirational messages to graduates. As graduates head off to new adventures, they'll treasure the cards and heartfelt notes inside them. Cards are a useful way to relay these messages even if one cannot be present for the graduation. Close a graduation card with a warm closing address such as "Love," "Kind regards," "Best wishes" or "Sincerely." This address depends on how familiar you are with the graduate.