May is graduation season. Columbus State University has its ceremony today and Im attending UGAs commencement ceremonies later this week. Graduation is one of those events easily commemorated with music and not just Pomp and Circumstance. One of the souvenirs given to seniors at my high school graduation was a mixed CD. Songs for the class of 03 included Vitamin Cs Graduation Song, Green Days Time of Your Life, and Kelly Clarksons A Moment Like This.
Graduation songs are usually about how great it is to be young and how much you miss your youth when you're old. I would argue that you need good music for your life after graduation even more. You need music when you're feeling broke and inexperienced. You need music for when you realize all of your classmates are married with good jobs, but you can't seem to cross the bridge into adulthood. You need songs for when you miss college. You need songs to celebrate not being in college anymore.
My graduation gift to the class 2012 is a couple song suggestions from my personal post-college playlist. You can find more recommendations and leave your own suggestions on my 20-something blog.
Out Here on My Own, Irene Cara: You know how Adele's music makes some people cry? This song does that to me, especially if I'm having one of those "Oh my God I don't know what I'm doing!" days. The title says it all. Life is a solo act. You can ask for help sometimes, but it's still your life. You have to take ownership of it and figure out your own problems. You may feel lonely at times, and you may not get everything you want when you want it, but you'll survive and be stronger for struggle.
Hold On, Alabama Shakes: The lyrics of this song are also about struggling, but music is more upbeat, with a twangy catchy guitar that makes me want to dance, rather than cry. It's the antidote to Irena Cara.
Money, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals: This song is about money -- trying to save it, losing it, not having it -- all very familiar situations when you're young and broke. But if you sing along, you forget your money troubles for a while, or at least until your next credit card bill.
Beg, Steal or Borrow, Ray LaMontangue and the Pariah Dogs: This is for the graduates that have to move back in with their parents, take a job they don't like to pay their student loan bills, or just dream of a more exciting post-college life. Stuck in your hometown? Surrounded by the people you hated in high school? Got your parents nagging you about settling down? Find a way to escape. Determine what you want and beg, steal, borrow, work hard to get it.
We Are Young, Fun: This is a song best sung in a large group of friends at the top of your lungs. The concept is simple: You are young. Celebrate it.
Sara Pauff, 706-320-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more commentary, read her 20-something blog.