Skip to content
Graduate with arms in the air celebrating

Laaaa…la la la, laaa, laaaaa…laaa, la la la laaaaaa

The Pomp & Circumstance melody has begun. This is likely the first time (and hopefully not the last!) you’ll get to walk to your seat listening to the famous graduation entrance song. (Fun fact: the song was originally written for a British king’s coronation.)

You won’t hear that tune many places outside of a graduation, so when we hear it, high school or college graduation reminiscence takes hold. Music has the power to elicit all kinds of emotions: memories of a first love, or even a lost family member. As graduates of the class of 2023 prepare for their graduation, here are some common songs – and themes – to add to your playlist to mark the experience.

Remember the good times.

Late nights watching movies. Getting called on in class when you weren’t paying attention. Prom. Riding on the bus to games or contests. First day of freshman year – and last day of senior year. These songs will likely lead to a smile on your face as you recall those moments.

Good Old Days by Macklemore feat. Kesha

I wish somebody would have told me, babe / Someday, these will be the good old days

All the love you won’t forget / And all these reckless nights you won’t regret

Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change / You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

See You Again by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

We’ve come a long way from where we began / And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

Graduation (Friends Forever) by Vitamin C

As we go on, we remember / All the time we had together

And as our lives change, come whatever / We will still be friends forever

Be open to your new journey.

Plans will change – sometimes for the better, and other times not in the way you had hoped. Keep these songs in your playlist to provide an open perspective to new adventures that await you.

Learning to Fly by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings / Coming down is the hardest thing

Closing Time by Semisonic

So, gather up your jackets, move it to the exits / I hope you have found a friend

Closing time, every new beginning / Comes from some other beginning’s end

Don’t give up when it gets tough.

You put in the hard work to get to graduation, but more challenges are on the horizon. Have these songs ready in your playlist when you need a pick-me-up to remember you’ve got this.

The Climb by Miley Cyrus

There’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be an uphill battle, Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there, Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side / It’s the climb

Fight Song by Rachel Platten

This is my fight song / Take back my life song / Prove I’m alright song

And I don’t really care if nobody else believes / ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

Don’t stop believin’ / Hold on to that feelin’

Enjoy the moment! You did it!

Take a deep breath and savor the moment. All your hard work led you to this point. Here’s a toast to you!

Firework by Katy Perry

You just gotta ignite the light, And let it shine / Just own the night, Like the Fourth of July

Happy by Pharrell Williams

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof / Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you / Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Celebration by Kool & The Gang

It’s time to come together / It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure / Everyone around the world come on!

Celebrate good times, come on!

By Kristin Ageton