Graduation season is right around the corner.

The mid-year marks an important milestone in every person’s life, especially for those who weren’t able to experience their high school graduation back in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduation season also brings a lot of lasts — last days on campus, last college barkada lunch, last class, and more. It’s for this reason that there a lot of bittersweet emotions surrounding these last few days as a student.

Whether you’re feeling sentimental about how fast the “most important” years of your life have gone by or excited to get college over with, Billboard Philippines listed down our picks for 15 songs that perfectly encapsulate this coming-of-age moment in your life.

Long Live — Taylor Swift

“Long Live” is a popular go-to song for graduation, and for a good reason. The song is chock-full of nostalgia memories of school: history book pages, (prom) kings and queens, baseball, and more. Beyond that, the track just feels like a triumphant end to four years, especially when Taylor Swift sings out: “Long live all the mountains we moved / I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.”

Blink — Clara Benin

The real world is scary. In “Blink,” Clara Benin gives an important reminder to everyone who listens: “In a blink of an eye this could all be gone / So I take my time and just have fun.” It’s easy to get swept up in all the fear and uncertainty that post-college life looks like. Instead of worrying about what hasn’t happened yet, take a pause and savor the present.

Ribs — Lorde

This is one of the, if not the most, coming of age-coded songs out there. “Ribs” by Lorde has been a long-time favorite precisely because of its ability to evoke emotions like nostalgia, sentimentality, fear of the unknown, and hope. There are so many classic lines in this song that encapsulate the “end” of your youth, with lines like “It feels so scary getting old” and “You’re the only friend I need / Sharing beds like little kids / And laughing ’til our ribs get tough / But that will never be enough.”

Alapaap — Eraserheads

“Alapaap” (Cloud) is one of two “graduation season” classics by Eraserheads, with the other being “Minsan” (Sometimes). “Alapaap” is a feel-good song that reminds you of the friends made along the way. This is a song that’s perfect to celebrate with your friends, especially as you cap off the last few days of college life together.


Looking to get hyped on your special day? Look no further, the Davao-based hip-hop quintet PLAYERTWO are here. “P2 ENERGY” off their debut album, HAPPY ACCIDENTS VOL. 1, is jam-packed of energy to get you in the zone for celebrating. You deserve to feel on top of the world as you get up on stage and take that highly-anticipated bow.

Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl — Chappell Roan

If you’re looking for background music while getting ready for your big day, Chappell Roan’s “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl” is equal parts feel good and empowering. The song just oozes confidence and feeling comfortable in your own body. As she puts it: “With everything you feel and everything you are / Walk that walk / Flash that camera / You’re a star.”

Guys — The 1975

What would our college lives be without our friends? “Guys” by The 1975 is Matty Healy’s ode to friendships that last forever. In fact, the song is The 1975’s tributes to each other, which is perfectly summed up with Healy saying: “The moment that we started a band was the best thing that ever happened.”

Little Wonders — Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas’ “Little Wonders” for the film Meet The Robinsons is a tearjerker in every sense of the word. It captured the essence of the movie, which is to always “keep moving forward.” The song reminds you that the things that make life good aren’t just the big, grand moments in time, but also the “little wonders” that happen in between. Even if things don’t completely go your way, you should always keep moving forward.

Karera — BINI

BINI’s “Karera” (Race) has a special place in the BINI girls’ heart, and it’s another song that’s important to hear, especially for fresh graduates. In the track, they sing about not comparing yourself to anyone else, and that you should live life at your own pace.

Boom Clap — Charli XCX

“Boom Clap” is the quintessential coming of age film soundtrack. It’s the song for road trip drives during summer vacation, going out with your friends, making mistakes, and falling in love. Whether you’re heading to La Union for one last barkada trip before your graduation or traveling to Boracay with your batchmates, this is the song to romanticize the end of an era to.

Where’d All The Time Go? — Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog’s 2010 track, “Where’d All The Time Go?” gained a second life via TikTok, when the sound went viral with everyone posting videos of how much has changed over the years. It’s also been frequently used for graduation day transitions. When you listen to the song in its entirety, you can’t help but reflect and think of special moments in your life. If you’re looking to feel sentimental on your big day, this song is right up your alley.

Aurora — Toneejay

Toneejay’s Aurora record is dedicated to healing his inner child, and the album’s title track is no different. In the song, he sings, “‘Wag mo nang ikumpara / Ang sarili sa iba / Lahat tayo ay may kanya-kanyang / Paglalakbay (Don’t compare / Yourself to others / We all have our own / Journeys) — very apt for the post-grad life, where everyone’s paths start diverging.

Dog Days Are Over — Florence + The Machine

Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” are a classic. It’s a song that you need to listen to when you want to leap head first into the unknown. If you want an upbeat song that encapsulates that feeling of leaving everything behind and pursuing your dreams, this definitely needs to be on your playlist.

Dahan-Dahan — One Click Straight

It’s easy to get caught up in unemployment blues and existential crises, and One Click Straight’s “Dahan-Dahan” (Slow Down) reminds you to take your time. For a lot of people, this time in their lives is when fear really sinks in, so it helps to have a reminder once in a while that it’s okay to do things at your own pace.

Growing My Garden — Reese Lansangan

To cap off this list, Reese Lansangan’s “Growing My Garden” focuses on the importance of self-love and “tending your garden.” Her take on self-love means to focus on your own self-development regardless of the busyness of the world. This constant reminder can serve as a guiding light as you navigate this uneasy part of your life.