I’m Finally Graduating, Now What? Keylee’s Fall Graduation Playlist

Written by on December 13, 2023

It’s my time to shine – after 2 years at Coog Radio and the University of Houston, I have finally completed my degree plan and will be graduating with a master’s in Mass Communications. Everybody clap!

It’s the end of the semester, and the final stretch for some. I’m not one to write personal homages on the Coog Radio site, but I needed to commemorate my final piece and end off with a bang. Throughout my time at the university, I’ve made wonderful connections and colleagues through Coog Radio – I’ve garnered much experience and my passion for music grew fonder. My graduate tenure was not an easy path, but having this organization to fall back on was a wonderful feeling. It was a great opportunity to serve as a member of Coog Radio, where I was given the chance to talk about my angsty days on my radio show the Emo Factory, photograph some of my bucket list acts, and make new life-long friends. Apologies for the sappy note, let’s get back to it.

To end with a bang, I wanted to create a playlist with songs that got me through the past two years. As I stated earlier, graduate life is not easy but music sure is the answer to everything. These songs either round-up the fall semester, discuss new openings and opportunities, or simply just resonate with my personal experiences. Check it out:

“This Is Why” by Paramore

If you know me, you know that I live and BREATH Paramore. There are so many songs I could’ve chose to write about, and I chose “This Is Why.” The album was released during my second year of school, and this song was my top song on Spotify Wrapped in 2022 (and #3 in 2023). It discusses multiple topics, such as not wanting to the leave the house for… reasons, and I relate to that so much as I am a homebody. Well, my master’s degree made me leave the house!

“Everything Goes My Way” by Metronomy

“The Bay” will always be my jam, but so is “Everything Goes My Way.” My constant negation of love and fun throughout my graduate school life will always haunt me, but I’m glad I was able to break through my barriers towards the past year. I’ve made new friends, visited new places, and it all felt NEEDED. As a well-known perfectionist, I’m glad I was able to steer my direction and made things go the way I planned.

“Shame and Fortune” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, my beloved! I saw YYYs perform in Houston at 713 Music Hall a couple of days after my birthday, and they played this track for the first time since 2011 – of course, I freaked. Karen O shouts from the rooftops that no matter who gets in her way, she will always win the game. That is my spirit animal, and that is my life’s mission.

“On the Brightside by Never Shout Never

One of the few songs on this list that speaks words of encouragement – while Never Shout Never isn’t a band anymore, their songs will always bring me back to the good ol’ emo days. Cristofer Drew was MY Justin Bieber, and this song was my “Baby.” No matter how big or how small, the world will always be out to get you – that’s why you only need to listen to your heart. THAT’s what pushed me through Grad School.

“Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten” by Grouplove

Oh, the amount of tears I shed during my entire college career, I’m too embarrassed to say the amount of times. Grouplove has always been one of my favorite bands, and this song always brought me to tears. It helped me keep my breath in and count to ten, it allowed me to relax and enjoy breezing through life during the hardships. Sure, it may have lead to procrastination, but who doesn’t enjoy howling at the moon on a cool summer night? Thanks, Christian Zucconi.

“Keep Lookin’ Up” by Kacey Musgraves

My favorite song off of Star-Crossed by Kacey Musgraves – through her lyrics, we both experienced the final push our dads had when it came to moving on with life no matter what obstacle was thrown at you. My dad’s constant encouragement helped me move on, even during the times I wanted to stand my ground – nothing is ever impossible.

“We Used to Wait” by Arcade Fire

“We Used To Wait” defines so much of the feelings I dealt with. Through the angst and bitter emotions, Arcade Fire always managed to get me out of the rut. This track’s heartfelt crescendo and melancholic lyrics resonated, and it will always have a place in my heart.

“I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)” by Glass Animals

Glass Animals were my pandemic band, and their 2020 release of Dreamland got me through some tough pandemic-mindset moments. They released “I Don’t Wanna Dance” when I joined Coog Radio, and this song defined the moment that I knew things were going to get better!

“Money” by The Drums

Like any college student, there are times where you are dead broke and must live off of girl dinners and cheap campus activities. This also applies to graduate students! The Drums have been a major part of my life since middle school, and it’s good to hear how relatable “Money” is now that I’m a full-fledged adult.

“Stuck in the Middle” by Burning Hotels

Band Slam. That was my grad school movie of choice, and this song is a BANGER. What else can I say?


Now signing off – Keylee Paz (former Web Director, writer, photographer, and other miscellaneous roles).

  • Keylee Paz

    I am a UH Graduate Student majoring in Mass Communications, a UT Austin alum and an aspiring music journalist! My hobbies include photography, traveling for shows/festivals and taking strolls with my husky baby Luna Zoe.

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