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12 Pearls of Wisdom for Students From Mark Twain

Topics: Career Advice

Beloved literary icon Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens, was famous for his strong opinions about all aspects of life. He had a great deal to say about education, for example; there is ample evidence to support the claim that he would’ve loathed today’s standardized testing. His irreverent approach to learning offers inspiration for any student trying to plan their academic or post-graduation career.


(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

If you’re in school, consider these inspirational quotes from Mark Twain – there might be something here that makes you think differently about the whole process of getting an education, building a career, and even living life.

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1. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

2. “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

3. “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”

4. “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

5. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

6. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

7. “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”

8. “Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”

9. “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

10. “Comparison is the death of joy.”

11. “Inherently, each of us has the substance within to achieve whatever our goals and dreams define. What is missing from each of us is the training, education, knowledge and insight, to utilize what we already have.”

12. “Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”

For more information about Mark Twain, you can look into his biography a little, and be sure to read some of his writings. His words and ideas stand the test of time.

The quotes used for this piece were from Twain’s page on and

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