Your Essential Graduation Playlist

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Your Essential Graduation Playlist

Right about now many final years up and down the UK are edging on freedom. The bonds of oppression are about to be cast down and University Students from across these isles will be able to walk unburdened. Hand-ins and exams are now just history and the transformation from Student to Graduate will be upon you.

This might be slightly hyperbolic, maybe a tad. But nevertheless, students are approaching complete liberation from the demands of an undergraduate degree. From the people I speak to with regards to this, I often find the same mix of feelings and emotions. I find that ex-students, in that limbo between the last submission and the day with the daft hat are completely made up with a sense of triumph and terror.

Triumph from the hours, days and weeks' worth of work put in to get to this stage but also a sense of complete dread because they now realise that - shit, I need to do something else now. It might be a bit far to say students suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, but they are now lost, without ties and kicked from the ivory tower.

But what this does mean for you nearly liberated students/graduates is a massive party. So here at, I have spent time putting together your perfect end-of-university playlist to help you deal with life on the other side of Lectures, Seminars and Essays.

1. All Good Things (Come to an End) - Nelly Furtado

It's ok guys, if there's a point to get sentimental - it's now. You've been through a lot together over the past few years. You've been a band of brothers and sisters through a lot, all-nighters and arguments, romances and relocations, break ups and bromances, booze-ups and benders and undoubtedly a few knocks and scrapes along the way.

So don't worry about getting all blurry-eyed about this end of an era, you've all been through a lot. Remember: real men cry.

Listen to "All Good Things" here

2. Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Let's be honest, this piece of advice is either completely redundant or the easiest piece of advice you ever be told. Final Year students, after all the exams, essays and whatever mode of examination your course required, will be knackered and find themselves drained. So you should have a drink and get partying or just chill out.

You've worked hard and you've earned it, anyone that tells you otherwise won't quite appreciate the work you've put in to get everything done and in. Not enough people will tell you this but - Well done you!

So in the words of esteemed Frankie and his California-bound chums, relax, don't do it. Give yourself a few days recuperation, because you'll have both earned it and will need it. From my own experiences, running close to hand it days it was a case of churning out 1000s of words an hour until sunrise, armed with nothing but a bottle of water and bumper pouch of Golden Virginia.

(The author understands he may have misunderstood the meaning of the aforementioned pop song but has appropriated for his own use)

Listen to "Relax" here

3. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Judy Garland

A wistful and dreamy song, this is a perfect choice for your post-university blues. It should inspire you to get out there, think big and get exploring your options. This is not for the fainthearted, graduates should be bold in their ambitions.

Now you've finished university, you should be looking at how you can make the best and most rewarding career possible. (Please note I have now switched to graduate, no longer student.) ...sorry.) Whether this is money, responsibility or being the best in the business, you should see what you can attain.

Obviously the first point of call is looking at what options you might have with your degree. Many think that they are pigeon-holed into one area, while in fact, many degrees open lots of doors and some have absolutely no direction, leaving a wealth of opportunities open. A part from particular technical positions in computing or technology, you will soon discover that employers rarely ask for a particular degree, but find experience more appealing.

Other ways you can peer over the rainbow and into the future for your fame, fortune and satisfaction is looking at what particular jobs might be. Reading job descriptions of individual job roles and learning more about them can be the best way to discover what's out there and can really help you working out what it is you want to do.

Listen to "Somewhere over the Rainbow" here

4. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys

One day that will sneak up on you and you might only become aware of it when you see a spate of gloating Facebook statuses. The day your results are available. I may be wrong but this is no longer done by a piece of paper on a notice board, but students/graduates will now have to sign in online to discover whether they're a Geoff, Attila, Desmond or Richard. Do you wanna know? It's like checking your bank balance only a thousand times worse, but will help inform your options for the future. While a lot of jobs ask for a 2.1, those who do receive a 2.2 for their efforts should take a look here.

Listen to "Do I Wanna Know?" here

5. Ain't got no (I Got Life) - Nina Simone

Despite the obvious historical context of this classic by Nina Simone, this is not only one of the ultimate feel-good songs to spur graduates on but also provides a very useful method to help improve your applications across the board.

To remove any sense of the passion and anguish in the song, while Nina lists what she is crucially missing, including shoes, home and money, she also draws up a similar list of what she does have to offer, namely her life. This is something that graduates can also do, and must do. To help formulate your application and to target your approach more directly, graduate should work out what they've got and what they can offer.

Job hunting really is a matching exercise. Matching your skills and passions to positions looking for it. It's that simple. Drawing up a list of skills and competencies and being ready to highlight them in certain covering letters and application forms will only aid your applications, as well as helping you form the basis of that beast - your CV.

Listen to "Ain't Got No" here

6. London Calling - The Clash

It's been nearly 40 years since Joe Strummer and Co. captured the allure of the capital and it is no doubt it still bears the same temptation for graduates across the UK. I personally have seen a significant migration of friends from around the UK to come to the capital for work. And that's the thing, while it is not entirely true, the majority of the work for graduates is here in London and the South East.

If you are coming from a "far away town", make sure you take a look at the London page, for information on the city and opportunities.

Listen to "London Calling" here

7. I Really Like You - Carly Rae Jepsen

This is an utterly and irresistibly catchy song. No seriously. If you've not heard it before keep it that way, it's going to drive you nuts. But also goes some way to saying something about the approach you should take to applying to graduate jobs, especially Covering Letters.

Because much like the song, graduates need to have the enthusiasm and passion for the role and then transfer it in less than a side of A4. Graduates need to show passion for the role and the position, I show they want them and hope they want them too.

If you've not seen it, do watch the video. Two words: Tom Hanks.

Listen to "I Really Like You" here

8. Busy Earnin' - Jungle

The one problem with job hunting after graduation is that it is slow work. Some schemes are open for a while, some application forms take hours to fill out and some companies won't even look at applications until the close date. In the mean time you need some cash. Graduates even get stop-gap jobs, whether this is retail or bar work, they're busy earning that dollar to keep a roof over their heads or the parents at bay.

Listen to "Busy Earnin'" here

Everyone will have their own soundtrack to this close of a chapter in their life. This is a momentous point in your life and you should take time to enjoy it as well as keeping an eye out on the future. Good luck and enjoy!

Got one to add? Tweet us here using #graduationPlaylist

By James Howell

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