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The quintessential college graduation playlist

Entertainment Editor Chloe Southard might not be graduating, but she'll still find an excuse to make a playlist.
Entertainment Editor Chloe Southard might not be graduating, but she'll still find an excuse to make a playlist.

Graduation is right around the corner for many Miami University seniors. I’m a junior, but that won’t stop me from finding an excuse to make a good playlist. And, in my own self interest, this will come in handy for when I graduate.

Consider this playlist a graduation gift.

‘Graduation (Friends Forever)’ — Vitamin C

I don’t care how corny you may find it, this is the graduation song. Long before I graduated high school and was a small child, this track was enough to bring me to tears. The lyrics about departing from your friends and moving on with your life are bittersweet.

It still makes me a bit emotional, but I mostly think of the scene from “Scary Movie 2” when I hear it now.

‘Grow’ — Conan Gray

This song is about embracing the person you’re going to become, which is quite fitting when it comes to graduation. We’re constantly growing and changing; we don’t know what lies ahead of us, but the best we can do is try to make peace with that fact now and look forward to the future.

‘Where’d All the Time Go?’ — Dr. Dog

If you were on TikTok circa 2021, chances are you’ll recognize this song. Basic, I know, but the lyrics and mood of the track are perfect for the occasion.

‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ — Queen

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Not all songs pertaining to graduation need to be sad or bittersweet. This is a huge moment in your life, and you should be pumped! This track is exactly how you should feel: You’re on your way now, and you shouldn’t let anyone get in your way.

‘Dog Days Are Over’ — Florence + The Machine

Another celebratory song. You’ve just made it through some of the most challenging years of your life; I’m sure it’s a great feeling to get to the finish line.

‘Vienna’ — Billy Joel

This is a classic about being young and having the rest of your life ahead of you. Need I say more?

‘Tongue Tied’ — GROUPLOVE

My friends and I blasted this song in the car after graduating high school. I suggest you do the same, if you haven’t already. It feels like something straight out of a coming-of-age film.

‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ — ABBA

This one is mostly for your parents or the people who raised you. They’ll already be emotional from watching you graduate, and this song won’t make it any better, but it’s beautiful and deserves to be included.

‘The Night Is Still Young’ — Nicki Minaj

Barbz, this one’s for you. You deserve to go a little crazy after such a big milestone, and while this song is upbeat and fun, it also has a slightly poignant vibe.

‘Ribs’ — Lorde

As I get older, I find myself resonating with this song even more. Growing up is scary; the knowledge that your youth is fleeting from you is a burden. But Lorde captures that feeling so well on this track.

‘Get Free’ — Lana Del Rey

Yes, I will always find a way to add a Lana song to every playlist I make. This track is about wanting to move forward, “out of the black, into the blue.”

‘Free Woman’ — Lady Gaga

Sticking with the theme of freedom, this song is perfect, even if you aren’t a woman. It’s fun and danceable — perfect for a graduation party.

‘Kids’ — Current Joys

The lyrics of this song hit close to home; you are no longer a kid, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing what you want in life.

‘Time of Our Lives’ — Pitbull and Ne-Yo

This was actually my graduating class’ song. I think it’d be much more fitting for a college graduation rather than high school, but don’t tell them I said that.

‘Long Live (Taylor’s Version)’ — Taylor Swift

If I failed to add a Taylor Swift song to this playlist, I think Swifties would probably dox and swat me. So here, this seems to be the best fitting one. Please don’t hurt me.

‘Changes’ — David Bowie

This one is pretty self explanatory. Bowie says it best: “Turn and face the strange.”

‘Class of 2013’ — Mitski

Sorry about this one.

If you’re graduating, congratulations — I envy you. If you aren’t graduating, save this playlist. It’ll come in handy when the time comes.