11 Graduation Songs That Induce Severe Degrees Of Blubbering, Uncontrollable Tears

If you're anything like I was when I was graduating, you're lurking at your local college bar jukebox, dollars in hand, just waiting for the perfect moment to play progressively more depressing graduation songs as the night goes on. Soon enough, you're crying with your friends because damn it, leaving the people you've lived with for four years is so friggen sad.

It is important to note that each song, though, does not evoke the same cry. Oh no, friend. There are varying degrees of crying and sadness and despair from subtle tears to full blown humiliating gurgles.

So! As graduation looms, let me help you properly navigate your final rounds of house parties and bar hopping. Here are 11 graduation songs and the degree of sadness they induce. Get ready to stack your playlists!

by Caitlyn Callegari

Vitamin C, "Graduation (Friends Forever)"

REALLY. If you’re not forming a prayer circle when you hear “As we go on…” with everyone around you from your roommates to your ex to that girl whose pencil you borrowed in Psych, than I don’t even know what college was to you.

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Degree of Sadness: Kim Kardashian

That is one unabashedly ugly ass cry and you let it all out, girlfriend. It’s good for the soul.

Image: Giphy

Semisonic, "Closing Time"

Pshhhh, “Closing Time”?! This song?! It’s just about a bar clos– Oh, wait. Oh no. That’s right, once you realize that this song that perpetually played on your parent’s car radio growing up is actually about life and less about a bar, it hits you. You never even stood a chance past, “Open up the doors and let you out into the world…”

God damn metaphors.

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Degree of Sadness: James Van Der Beek

It’s that kind of cry that slowly creeps up on your and ruins your soul. And your street cred.

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Brand New, "Soco Amaretto Lime"

It sounds delicious but it is NOT delicious.



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Degree of Sadness: Farrah Abraham

On par with the ugliness of a Kim K. cry, but with less tears and more chest heaving… and ya know, face distortion.

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Baz Luhrmann, "Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen"

I mean, it’s really just a speech put to music, but I dare you to defy the greatest graduation addresses of all time.

That’s right, YOU CAN’T. Now excuse me while I find my parent’s in the crowd so I can hug them and never let them go.

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Degree of Sadness: Oprah

A tried and true subtle, classy, Oprah cry.

Nothing showy.

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Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"

“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road…”

Sniff. Cry. Gurgle. Sob.

Sorry I’m not sorry that Greenday took everyone’s collective bittersweet feelings about moving on and letting go and crafted it into the greatest commencement song of all time.

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Degree of Sadness: Tobias Funke

This kind of tear flow can only be settled in one place: the shower.

This is between you, Greenday, and your heart.

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The New Radicals, "You Get What You Give"

But, it’s so upbeat and happy! Yes, that’s where they get you.

As you jam out, you begin to think of all of the fun and unforgettable times you spent with this specific group of people that will never all be in the same place EVER AGAIN.

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Degree of Sadness: Creepy Russian Olympic Bear

You may not show it much on the surface, but it’s totally raining in your heart.

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Blink-182, "Going Away To College"

I meannnnnn…

If the title doesn’t pull at your angsty teen heart strings, not too sure what will. Regardless, this song is the culmination of every possible melodramatic emotion/feeling you possessed when leaving your hometown friends to move on to greener, drunker pastures.

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Degree of Sadness: Baby Born

Scrolls through old Facebook timeline.


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Eve 6, "Here's To The Night"



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Degree of Sadness: Top Model

You. Know. That. Feel.

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Bob Dylan, "Forever Young"

A song about wishing your friends the best because you probably won’t know them anymore in a few years is sad, Bob.


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Degree of Sadness: Mae Mobley

So many feelings.

Mostly, abandonment.

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Sarah McLaughlin, "I Will Remember You"

If you put this on at a bar, or a party, or just IN GENERAL, you can GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE you sick sadistic monster. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

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Degree of Sadness: LEO.

This is what I like to call, “WHY GOD, WHY?!” crying.

Aside from dying and abused puppies, the sound of Sarah McLaughlin’s voice is just too eerily reminiscent of a deep, dark abyss of despair. As is the end of college and subsequently, your soul.

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The Beatles, "In My Life"

Oof. So sweet, so simple, so true.

You start to think you’re even going to miss the kid that took your wet laundry out of the dryer REPEATEDLY just because he was a big ol’ douche that COULDN’T WAIT HIS TURN.

(You won’t this is a temporary, fleeting, stupid feeling)

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Degree of Sadness: Doge


Much sadness.

So emotion.

This feeling of nostalgia is permanent. It’ll be real difficult looking back on those four years without welling up with tears.

Image: Giphy