Top 5 graduation playlist must-adds

By Carolina Garibay, buzz editor

No graduation party is complete without a fire playlist full of songs that make you nostalgic, reflective and hype you up all at the same time. Though countless graduation songs exist, there are some songs that should appear on every graduation playlist. Here are five songs that are graduation playlist must-adds.

“Graduation (Friends Forever)” – Vitamin C

Is this basic? Maybe, but does that mean it should be left off of this list? Of course not. “Graduation” is a 1999 classic that is often played for eighth grade and high school graduations as well, but it hits particularly different for college graduates, especially this year. This song emphasizes the importance of the strong friendships you’ve made throughout college, many of who will go on to be your “friends forever,” as the song says. All songs seem to have different meanings now as we’ve experienced a global pandemic together, but the lyrics “Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now? / Can we survive it out there? Can we make it somehow?” really seem to encompass a lot of people’s thoughts from the past year. If you want a more modern twist on this song, you can also add “Graduation (with Juice WRLD)” featuring benny blanco and Juice WRLD to your graduation playlist.


“I Lived” – One Republic

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    This is one of those songs that, pre-pandemic, probably reminded a lot of people of the good old days in 2013 when everything seemed to matter so much less. But now that we’ve experienced a global pandemic, this song seems to hold more weight. If we’re being honest, all everyone was really trying to do since March 2020 was survive. All of the quarantining, mask wearing and deep cleaning we’ve been doing has been to keep people alive, so this song has both a literal and metaphorical meaning. This song really emphasizes the metaphorical meaning of the verb “to live.” College seniors everywhere know how difficult it’s been to spend their last year of college online and to feel like everything they were doing mattered less. But that in and of itself is an experience, one that is shared by countless college seniors across the world. Even if you don’t necessarily feel that you “owned every second that this world could give” over the past year, you still lived, and that’s enough.


    “100 Bad Days” – AJR

    College is stressful, and even without a global pandemic we have a lot of bad days; however, the main point of “100 Bad Days” is that we should look at those days as learning experiences rather than obstacles that hold us back. Most of us have probably had more than 100 bad days in our lives (maybe even without the past year alone) but, as AJR sings, “100 bad days made 100 good stories / 100 good stories makes me interesting at parties.” I mean, are they wrong? What’s important for seniors to reflect on now is how your bad days have shaped you into the polished adult you are today (since now that you’re graduating, you’re a real adult). I’m sure you can think of several incredible stories that resulted from some bad days, and that’s really powerful if you think about it.


    “Celebration” – Kool & the Gang

    That’s enough self-reflection and existential pondering for one day. Graduation is really about celebrating, and we have a lot to celebrate this year. Of course, we’re celebrating everything our graduates have accomplished throughout the past four years, but we’re also celebrating the progress we’ve made as humans living through a global pandemic. This past year has been especially difficult, as many people can attest to, but 2021 is the year of hope, as more people are receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and are finally able to see friends and family in person. Many people are probably going to be able to have in-person graduation parties, and that definitely calls for celebration.


    “History” – One Direction

    No one knows what’s it like to spend four years with your best friends only to part ways suddenly quite like One Direction does. “History” is an underrated, must-add graduation song that perfectly encompasses the many thoughts that run through graduates’ heads as they’re both excited for their lives in the real world but sad to leave such a formative part of their lives behind. But One Direction reminds us that we don’t really have to leave all of those great memories behind and that no amount of time or miles apart from your homies is going to be stronger than the bond you’ve formed throughout those four years. Plus, just because college is ending doesn’t mean your friendships have to end, too. Nothing will make you more nostalgic like hearing One Direction sing, “You and me got a whole lot of history / So don’t let it go, we can make some more / We can live forever.”


    [email protected]