Seniors, it’s only 19 days until we walk across the stage with our caps and gowns on. There are billions of emotions you could be feeling right now, which is why I made a playlist for all seniors to listen to on their way to graduation to fit each emotion.

For the first 10 minutes of the drive, when you’re really excited:

“Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous

You might be sick of hearing me mention the 2011 movie “Prom” at this point, but have I raved enough about the soundtrack? This song plays when everything starts coming together, and I think it is the perfect way to open your drive to graduation. With lyrics like “We’re only young and naive still,” this song gives an upbeat wave of reassurance along with the excitement of being young and preparing for this new phase of your life.

“Doses & Mimosas” by Cherub

What once was a weekend party anthem is now a song you’ll think about when you picture your senior year of high school. If your parents or younger siblings are in the car, maybe consider finding a clean version! If we totally and completely ignore the true message of this song, “Doses & Mimosas” gives us the opportunity to say an excited and relieving goodbye to the past four years, and maybe a little bit to our haters, too.

For the next 12 minutes of the drive, when you’re feeling the nostalgia wash over you

“Remember When” by Wallows

A little reflection is always healthy, and lyrics like “Do you remember when we felt like the only two alive?” and “It seems so long” will take you back to all of your best memories from high school. And who doesn’t love a little bit of nostalgia?

“FRIENDS” by LAUNDRY DAY

Now, we’re not in the sentimental section of this playlist yet, but this will get you a good transition into that. I think that this song’s lyrics probably stand out the most to graduating seniors: “Remember being that kid on the first day that always hated that it was the first day” will take you back to kindergarten and through the past twelve years of your life. Let this song be a reminder of the good times you shared with your friends in high school.

“Clocks” by Coldplay

Personally, I’m already crying. The opening piano arpeggio will get you right away — this song feels like a slow motion clip of driving away from your family. Ouch! The closing verses explaining the want to go home to someone are extra special to all of you seniors who will be moving away soon. 

For the next 17 minutes of the drive, when you need to shed a tear or two

“Where’d All the Time Go” by Bird and Byron

Now we’re crying! You’ve likely heard the original version of this song by Dr. Dog, but I’ve always found myself more teary eyed at this indie-rock cover. There’s nothing quite like Blake Bergere’s insanely powerful vocals when it comes to the opening verse and the lines “And when the tide rises / Somebody sinks and is gone in the blink of an eye.” It’s okay to tear up a little during this one.

“Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Okay, maybe I’ve got an obsession with the home motif. And this song proves it. I think the symbol of Oswego being a home should play a significant role to all of us as we close out our senior year. You know that you’ll always have a home at OHS, so let the lyrics “Oh, home, let me come home / Home is wherever I’m with you” remind you of that.

“Rivers and Roads” by The Head And The Heart

This one is a token for all of the seniors who will be moving away after graduation. “Rivers and Roads” emphasize how hard it can be to say goodbye, especially when there’s going to be distance between you and your loved ones. Personally, I don’t find myself getting too emotional until they sing “And my family lives in a different state,” but good luck! 

“Godspeed” by Frank Ocean

Here is your final farewell in this playlist. Everyone needs their time to dwell on how much they’ll miss high school, so let Frank Ocean guide you through the motions. It hurts so bad! Verses open with lines like “I will always love you” and closing with “Still, I’ll always be there for you / How I do” are guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings. 

For the last eight minutes of the drive, when you’re ready to enter this new phase of your life

“Grow” by Conan Gray

Let’s be happy again! This track comes straight out of Conan Gray’s personal senior year experience. This is another one of those “movie moment” songs; you’ll be able to really picture yourself throwing your cap in the air as you make peace with growing up and begin your transition into adulthood.

“Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine

Of course, high school wasn’t rainbow and sunshines for everyone. As much as I enjoyed it, I’m beyond ready to leave it behind and let go. We spent enough time on this drive reminiscing and reflecting on the past four years, but while you find your parking spot at Northern Illinois University and mentally prepare to walk the stage in your cap and gown, let Florence + The Machine liven you up and lead you to look forward to getting your diploma.

Whether you seniors are dreading or anxiously awaiting this drive, make the most of it with this playlist:

(Sorry Apple Music users!)

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