The month of May means graduation season is upon us. Whether you’re moving on from just one grade level to the next, graduating high school and leaving your friends, or entering the real world all by yourself – it’s an emotional experience. When I feel intense emotions, I turn to music to speak for me. There are many types of graduation songs: sad, happy, hopeful – any theme for whatever mood you’re feeling for graduation.

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield

This one is a classic: a hopeful feel-good song about the future. It’s about the future choices being left up to you. Even if things go bad you have the chance to change it. I was watching Degrassi: The Next Generation recently, and they played this song during the graduation ceremony scene. It took me back to my high school graduation season. This song was on repeat – I even voted for this song to be my class’ graduation song. Although it didn’t win, it was still my anthem for senior season.

We’re All in This Together – High School Musical

The iconic High School Musical discography as a whole will never fail you in any high school occasion. This was the song that ended up winning for my class graduation song, and I couldn’t really be mad about that. The HSM series has a chokehold on my generation. It’s what we imagined high school would truly be like. It only makes sense that this was our graduation song.

See You Again – Wiz Khalifa FEATURING CHARLIE PUTH

This song is a guaranteed tear-jerker, especially if you don’t know the next time you’ll see your friends. On my last day of 8th grade, we were dismissed from our classes early to have one last party with everyone in the cafeteria. The teachers let us go around and say goodbye to everyone as they played this song through the speakers. As soon as the chorus hit, almost everyone was bawling their eyes out. But it was the perfect moment for graduation.

Graduation by Juice Wrld and benny blanco

This song is definitely more of a feel-good song that’s meant to make you laugh and reflect. Juice Wrld uses the verses to talk about specific caricatures of people you met in high school that will somehow maintain a place in your heart. It’s the little things that people take for granted when it’s there, but will be gone when they graduate. You think about the little things that matter so much in school that doesn’t seem as big in the real world. It’s about reflecting on the good and bad experiences that guided you to where you want to end up after you graduate.

For me, songs speak when I don’t understand exactly how I’m feeling. I chose these songs as significant graduation songs because they all have meaning to me in different ways. Some may not be blatantly about graduating but accepting moving on with life. What all of these songs have in common is their celebration of the future and acknowledgement of where their past led them. It helps me in realizing that I’m not alone in what I’m feeling and if a lot of people like the song, then it’s clearly relatable. Congrats to all of the class of 2022 grads!

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