Graduation season is here! Seniors, in these next few weeks as you prepare for your graduation ceremony, you're going to be figuring out so many things for your graduation: how and where you're celebrating, what family and friends you're inviting, trying not to stress about what you're doing after you've received your diploma. What you shouldn't worry about is what music you should be listening to throughout your festivities.
Here are some throwback songs to get you in a nostalgic and upbeat mood in honor of your accomplishments.
1. "Livin' la Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin
This 1999 Latin pop song is the epitome of a good time. A great party song choice, "Livin la Vida Loca" would surely amp up the liveliness of any party and remind partygoers of the animated classic Shrek 2, and the energetic nature the movie is infused with. It's time to live that crazy life now that you don't have the stress of getting to the end of your year.
2. "Started From the Bottom" by Drake
The most recent song on this list, "Started From the Bottom" is hip-hop song that hopefully sums up your experiences: as a freshman, you started at the bottom of the school, of the social food chain, and now you've successfully reached the top. Even if you aren't at the very top of your class, your accomplishments are valid, and you are finishing school as a winner.
3. "Wide Open Spaces" by Dixie Chicks
"Wide Open Spaces" is a wistful country song that conjures up memories of childhood transitions from elementary school to middle school or moving to a new home or going off on your own for the first time to a camp or on a trip. You remember where you've been because you'll soon be going to another new place or on a new journey and it's important to embrace the unfamiliarity.
4. "All Star" by Smash Mouth
Another song featured in a Shrek movie, "All Star" has now become synonymous with the franchise. It's likability factor may have gone up or down for you because of its major usage as a joke but it's lyrics still capture the essence of how you'll feel when you have your diploma: like an all star who has gone through challenges in the past but has come out on top.
5. "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
The oldest song on this list, The Beatles' 1969 feel-good hit is representative of the weight off your shoulders that school sometimes ended up feeling like. You can now see that all you have been through was worth the effort of pushing through because your hard work paid off; you have a bright future because of your persistence and dedication.
6. "The Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani ft. Akon
Gwen Stefani’s 2006 song is all about trying to escape from a bad life; not that being in college is a bad thing whatsoever, but sometimes when things are really not going your way, school can feel overwhelming and difficult. You finally get the escape you’ve been waiting for, just remember it won’t last forever.
7. "Life is a Highway" by Rascal Flats
The 2006 country cover of Tom Cochrane’s original rock jam was made specifically for the animated film Cars; it has lived on as a fun jam for pop and country fans alike. Lyrics that paint the picture of the long road of life and the anticipation and invigoration that it fills riders with is a perfect way to capture your feelings about this major moment in your life.
8. "I Was Here" by Beyoncé
This slow ballad takes a sentimental turn as you recount your fondest memories of school. This is the time to be proud of what you have done and not to let other people put you down, that your best truly impacted your school. And if you feel as though you didn’t do enough, “I Was Here” will also inspire you to make a bigger mark on the world.
9. "When I Grow Up" by The Pussycat Dolls
This is song you want to be thinking of as you walk across the stage to receive your diploma and walk down the aisles as you pass your peers. “When I Grow Up” is an upbeat pop song that describes a future in which you have all the fame and fortune you’ve ever wanted. Even if being famous isn’t that important to you, accepting your success and having the confidence to face the future definitely is.
10. "Stronger" by Kanye West
Another “walk across the stage” song, Kanye’s rap may be more suited for those whose graduation will prove one’s worth to someone else, whether it proves it to someone who used to be a negative influence or even your own self-doubt and insecurities. You are stronger than others may believe you to be and accepting a diploma proves it.
11. "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield
Bedingfield's upbeat tune is all about accepting your past and embracing an undefined future that up to you to create. After you graduate, you will off to do bigger and better things, things that you have control over and the ability to choose from. You should not feel limited from being out of school but freed as you go down a new path.
12. "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton
This iconic song was the embodiment of millennial childhood; what makes it so great is just how happy it makes you. There is such a joy and sentimentality in the song, mirroring the feelings surrounding graduation and leaving school. Even after leaving, you may feel a yearning towards your school; even if your school isn't your favorite place, you'll miss the friends you made and the adventures you had.
13. "I'm Like A Bird" by Nelly Furtado
"I'm Like a Bird" is somewhat the opposite of "A Thousand Miles"; leaving rather than returning is a guarantee in the future. You'll be leaving something behind when you graduate and you may feel sad about it but confining yourself to one place for the rest of your life may not be what you want and you deserve the chance to look for your home.
14. "Closing Time" by Semisonic
This rock song may have been written in honor of the lead singer's pregnant girlfriend but the sentiment about having to leave because you have to is what graduating may feel like. This may not be the ending you want, but this chapter of your life is finished and it's time to move on more foreign experiences.
15. "Juicy" by The Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie's rap single is a detailed account of his struggles to make a name for himself and is an inspirational song that will help graduates hear that your dreams are attainable and other people will not always dictate your success. Moving onto new things where failure is an option, it is good to hear that failure will not always be the only thing in your life, and success can be found in any endeavors.