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"I am the greatest": Muhammad Ali quotes for students to live by

The world continues to mourn the passing of boxing legend and humanitarian Muhammad Ali, who at age 74 succumbed to complications from Parkinson's on Friday evening. 

As iconic a presence as Ali was with his gloves, he is memorialized just as much for his words. He not only was unique in the way he poetically jabbed his opponents, but in the manner by which his speech transcended sports on a level unmatched by seemingly any other athlete. 

His vernacular is relevant even to college students. Who doesn't "float like a butterfly" through the semester with ease only to "sting like a bee" once finals roll around? 

Here are some of Ali's other recognizable quotes that students can relate to, for better or for worse:

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."  

What's college if not the biggest risk  most students choose to undertake up to that point in their lives? 

"Don't count the days. Make the days count."

"Absolutely," thinks every college student, before refusing to get started on that 10-page paper until the night before it's due. Change "days" to "naps" and all of a sudden students can relate a whole lot more. 

"If you even dream of beating me, you'd better wake up and apologize."

This one goes out to that 300-level teacher whose class you could never pass. And then directed to the real world when you finally do and get your diploma. 

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"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'"

There's no easy path through college. But the rewards are limitless if you endure your training studying. 

"It's not bragging if you can back it up."

What was that GPA you said you had again?

And finally...

"The will must be stronger than the skill."

Perhaps the quote that best described Ali's persona, and also the most important thing students must realize to be successful in whatever college endeavors they embark on. 

Rest in peace, Champ. 

David Lynch is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. Contact him at or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch. 


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