Graduation time is upon us, and whether you are taking the leap from pre-school to Kindergarten, high school to college, or college to adulting, you are about to undergo quite a life change. It doesn’t matter if you are the graduate or a loved one of the graduate, the fact is, this day snuck up on you and you are looking in your rearview mirror, wondering where all that time went. The good news is the windshield is a lot bigger than that little mirror, so look ahead, hit the gas, and enjoy the endless road of possibilities that awaits you — unless you are that Kindergartner. In that case, let your parents drive.
Here are some country music songs you should add to your graduation playlists to serve as reminders that life often times goes by too fast, you should live and love the moments you are gifted, you always have people cheering you on throughout the journey, and you are strong enough to take the next step.
Congratulations Class of 2016! Now go out and change this world for the better!
Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus – “Ready, Set, Don’t Go”
Billy Ray Cyrus teamed up with his daughter, Miley Cyrus, years ago to tell the world he was ready to let her fly. Though Cyrus got the best of both worlds with his little girl, the two were about to go their separate ways in their careers, and he knew it was time to let her graduate from her childhood stardom.
Carrie Underwood – “Don’t Forget To Remember Me”
In a song about letting go, Carrie Underwood sings about having to say goodbye to a parent after graduating to adulthood and how important it is to remember where you came from and the people who love you. As you peel out of your parents’ driveway, graduates, don’t forget to hug them and reassure them you won’t forget to remember them.
Cassadee Pope – “I Am Invincible”
Sure, moving up, out, and on is scary and intimidating, but if Cassadee Pope has taught us anything recently, it is that we are all unstoppable. When you walk out of your comfort zone and toward the new world you are about to enter, remember that ain’t nobody gonna make you break or shatter. You are invincible!
Dixie Chicks – “Wide Open Spaces”
Speaking of leaving that comfort zone, there comes a time to face the world, see all that it has to offer, and take a leap. Hey graduates, it looks like your time is NOW to move toward those wide open spaces the Dixie Chicks sang about and test life’s waters.
Jo Dee Messina – “Was That My Life”
And just like that, that phase of your life was over. Jo Dee Messina has been there, and she has also taken that longing look behind her and wondered if her life just passed her by. Learn a lesson from this iconic artist, stop every once in awhile, and take the next chapter in before you, too, are asking yourself “was that my life?”
Kelly Clarkson – “Breakaway”
No, it isn’t necessarily country, but I think we can all agree that Kelly Clarkson is our adopted artist. In her 2004 hit song, which was also the title track off her sophomore album, Clarkson realized the time had come to spread her wings and take on the world. Graduates of 2016, the time has come for you to breakaway.
Kenny Chesney – “Don’t Blink”
Kenny Chesney echoes Messina’s sentiments that life moves all too fast, and he shares that in his gorgeous ballad “Don’t Blink.” Whatever experience you are about to embark on, keep in mind that before you know it, you will be turning the page once again; and when you do, you’ll feel like all that separated you between yesterday and today was a blink.
Lee Ann Womack – “I Hope You Dance”
Sending hopes to a loved one who is about to fly, Lee Ann Womack especially hopes that person lives a life of wondrous moments and, most of all, dances. “I Hope You Dance” has become a staple song for celebrating milestones in people’s lives, and at this time in your lives, graduates, we hope you always choose to dance.
Rascal Flatts – “My Wish”
As you move that tassel from right to left, your life will change in an instant. When you jumpstart that future, Rascal Flatts wants you to remember there are people who love you who want nothing but the best for you. Our wish for you, graduates, is that you do all that you want to do.
Reba McEntire – “You’re Gonna Be”
As your parents bid you farewell and you transition from high school to college, just know that they believe in all “You’re Gonna Be.” In this song, Reba McEntire encourages you to make mistakes, trip, and fall, but always get back up again and fight for all you’re worth.
Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
Tim McGraw has had one of the biggest hits of 2016 with the song penned solely by Lori McKenna. As you walk across the stage, receive your diploma, and exit toward the next stage of your life, always remember the lesson from this monumental song: Always stay humble and kind.
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” – Dr. Seuss