COLUMN: Seven songs all graduating seniors will remember


“Truth Hurts” by Lizzo is played on a phone. Sarah Zygmuntowski

There are the songs that blast through the Assembly Hall speakers in the minutes before a basketball game. There are the bangers that guest musicians perform for a sea of freshmen at the yearly Welcome Week concert. There’s the music that streams through our headphones while we study, the classics that play in the background of football tailgates and the anthems we dance to in crowded rooms with our friends at house parties. 

No matter the setting, and no matter the occasion, music plays an undeniably important role in our college experiences. No one knows this more than the class of 2020, who graduate after years of hard work, fun times and lots of good music.

As we say goodbye to our seniors, let’s take a look back at seven songs that marked their college experience at IU.

Closer’ by The Chainsmokers feat. Halse

When the graduating seniors arrived at IU as freshmen, “Closer” was soaring to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. The electronic pop anthem would remain at Number 1 in the U.S. for 12 consecutive weeks, and defined an entire fall semester’s worth of college parties and car rides with the windows rolled down. 

‘Bodak Yellow’ by Cardi

If you were a college student when Cardi B transitioned from reality TV persona to rap star, you have witnessed pop culture history. Seniors — as you enter the real world, allow Cardi to inspire you to make “money moves” in all your future endeavors.

‘God’s Plan’ by Drake

No matter what you went through these past four years, Drake has been there for you through it all. With over 1.5 billion streams on Spotify, “God’s Plan” was inescapable throughout the 2017-18 spring semester.

‘Sicko Mode’ by Travis Scott

“Sicko Mode” was such a signature song in the pre-game playlist, you might think of Hoosier basketball every time you hear it from now until forever. Known for its unexpected tempo and instrumentation changes, Scott’s most well-known track was one of the most experimental songs to chart number 1 in recent years.

‘Thank U, Next’ by Ariana Grand

If you were able to stay away from Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s explosive engagement drama, I applaud you. But there’s no way you escaped hearing this song, born from the ashes of their 2018 courtship, playing everywhere for several months afterward. “Thank U, Next” was the cultural reset we needed, reminding us to be grateful for what people in our past have taught us.

‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish 

Years from now, we’ll all tell our children about Billie Eilish’s meteoric rise to fame, solidified in 2019 when her hit song about bloody noses and seducing dads went number 1. Even as college students, Eilish made all of us feel oldwhen she had the top song in the country at just 17 years old.

‘Truth Hurts’ by Lizz

Although “Truth Hurts” was originally released in 2017, the track reemerged as one of the top songs of 2019 after being featured in the Netflix movie “Someone Great.” When the going got tough, Lizzo was always there to remind us that loving ourselves is more important than chasing someone else. 

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