As graduation day creeps upon some of you, I would like to take this time to bid a nod to some of the most unforgettable graduation songs. Some may take you back to your high school days, and some may bring you to tears in fond memory of all the times you've had, shared, and cherished in your final days as a senior. Either way, these songs make quite the impact for the perfect graduation day soundtrack!
Here is a countdown of the top ten graduation songs that will make you cherish you last year in school a little bit more:
10. "I Can" by Nas
When coming up with this epic kid assisted track, I don't think the rapper had any idea that he would be cementing himself in the world of graduation songs. Let's all admit, though, whenever we hear this jam, our heads bop and our inner kids sing along with the chorus of children. Come on, you know the chorus just like everyone else. "I know I can / Be what I want to be / If I work hard at it / I'll be where I wanna be".
9. "Photograph" by Nickelback
We all know that Nickelback is the one band no one can really admit that they love, but when they broke out with "All The Right Reasons," "Photograph" was the one song that stuck out. A walk down memory lane for the frontman himself, this power ballad makes us walk down our own memory lanes, causing us to reminisce about all the times we had both good and bad, all the while causing us to ask the most important question: "What the hell was on Joey's head?!"
8. "Moment 4 Life" by Nicki Minaj
When Nicki Minaj came out with this inspirational anthem about breaking out, rising above, and achieving greatness, we know she meant her epic career but it has also paid off in making graduates feel like they have achieved the pinnacle of their academic lives. After all, to get to graduation, we had to overcome quite a bit of adversity. Haters included. And Nicki is the queen of curbing the hate
7. "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
Do I really need to give an explanation? The ballad that centers around the hope that you continue on the path set before you and that you persevere is a perfect symbol of the emotions that teachers have while watching the students they've been teaching walk across the stage. The euphoric feeling that you've made it this far and that you're continuing on is what teachers tend to hold onto. So, on graduation day, I hope you all do dance.
6. "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson
"I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly / I'll do what it takes until I touch the sky." Graduation day is all about the things that are coming once we walk off campus for the final time, about the things that are slowly making their way to us, to change us and shape us into the human beings we turn into as time passes. This song is especially wonderful when the whole group begins to sing along. Be sure to have your lighters ready.
5. "Firework" by Katy Perry
Among all of the things that Katy Perry's anthem, "Firework," is now used for (fourth of July, the LGBT "It Gets Better" movement, etc.), graduation is now rank at the top of the events you can hear this beautiful anthem of acceptance and strength. For all the times you've felt low through all your years furthering your education, "Firework" urges you to remember that you are a wonderful example of what happens when you give something your all with your own little flare.
4. "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts
Well, while I can't say that this was at the top of my list, when I posted a poll on social media, this song came barreling through the top of the ranks. So I finally listened and I have to admit that if there was ever a graduation anthem aimed towards the parents, this is it. Rascal Flatts has always dominated in the country music arena, and they prove it with this softly sung hymn about wishing the best for someone you truly care about. Get the tissues ready, mom will be sobbing through this one.
3. "My Last Semester" by The Wonder Years
For those of us who have always been a little disenchanted with school and all the things that come with it but grateful for the friendships we've managed to cement while suffering through the endless barrage of class, work, and stress, The Wonder Years give us our own personal teenage angst song to blast as we drive away from the last day as quickly as we possibly can because we're "Just tired of this place".
2. "Graduation" by Vitamin C
The minute you read the title, you found yourself singing it in your head. Probably the most recognizable song at every graduation ceremony, Vitamin C made herself an eternal icon for the very last goodbye with this tune that grasped all of our hearts and, for those of us who had middle school graduation, our weepy goodbye to childhood and our "hello" to puberty (To be honest, I bawled like a baby as I began my tumultuous track into high school). One more time it can be heard playing as we walk across and accept our degrees, paying tribute to all the time and hours sacrificed, encouraging us to hold on to the friendships we've built in the time we spent.
1. "Good Riddance" byGreen Day
Countless graduation ceremonies, the sign off to "Seinfeld," and a million other things that come to mind that break a man's heart, the number one most voted and well-known graduation song almost never came to light. It was kept off the 1994 album "Dookie" for being too far off the spectrum of what the snotty punk band really was, but we were saved when "Nimrod" hit the shelves and they finally got the gal to put it on an album.
A touchstone for pop culture, "Good Riddance" is one song that can truly be used as a semblance of what the years spent really mean to us. After all, graduation day is "another turning point / a fork stuck in the road". And I really do "hope you've had the time of your life".