10 Feel-Good Summer Songs to Strut Out of the Semester

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You did it. You’ve completed that last final. Turned in that last paper. You seem just about ready to run out those school doors. Bask in the freedom that we call summer vacation. However, something doesn’t feel right. The achievement of conquering the semester deserves an appropriate soundtrack to burst out of your dorm and back into the real world. Strut your way off campus to these summer songs that celebrate another year passed. Ditch your worries about essays, grades or unrealistic academic expectations for an entire summer.

These 10 summer songs will have you jam out on your walk out of campus.

1. “Survivor” – Destiny’s Child

Can you really have a list of celebratory songs without including our Queen Bey? This Destiny’s Child song oozes with confidence, gravitas and ferocity. It should serve as the anthem to anyone who feels that they have accomplished or endured anything of worth. Whether that means ending an easy semester with all A’s or barely passing that last final that you spent all night studying for, this song will encourage you to keep on surviving.

2. “Fly High” – Lorine Chia

Have you ever felt like you were riding off of the high of life? Maybe you just killed that final or achieved a summer fling that you’ve spent some time searching for. Perhaps graduation finally awaits you after your last class. This song, by the talented Lorine China, perfectly represents that feeling of contentment. “The song is literally about celebrating life, your peers. Looking good, feeling great. If I was graduating that’s the exact vibe I’d be looking for,” said Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University senior Bria Vaughn. If you bump this song while on your way off campus, you will find yourself feeling more confident, content with yourself and ready to conquer whatever lies ahead.

3. “Float On” – Modest Mouse

Let’s get real, sometimes we don’t end the semester as well as we wish to. Maybe you didn’t end up with a grade that you thought you deserved, or you didn’t land that internship you wanted. If that does happen, this song reminds you to not get bogged down in sadness. Instead to continue on with your head held high. This catchy Modest Mouse tune will encourage you to move past any disappointing experiences of the previous semester. Enter the summer with an optimistic attitude, as well as a greater appreciation to the many successes you had. There’s always room to improve in the future if you feel like you did not do your best. Sometimes we all just need a little reminder to “float on” in order to get to the next great experience.

4. “Let’s Groove” – Earth, Wind, and Fire

While the end of semester can give you a sense of accomplishment, pride and satisfaction, let’s not forget that it can bring an indescribable amount of joy as well. Completing courses that have brought you so much stress for over four months should make you want to dance out of the classroom once you finally complete them. What better way to express this joy than with festive beats of Earth, Wind, and Fire. As one of the greatest bands of all time, they have the ability to put your ineffable feelings of happiness into song form. “Let’s Groove” best represents this due to the fact that you can’t help but smile as you listen to it. “Honestly, this song can put me in a good mood no matter what stresses try to weigh me down,” said Florida State University graduate student Mara Charles. So “share the spice of life” with yourself and your peers as you groove away from college to this feel-good beat.

5. “We are the Champions” – Queen

You knew this one had to get included. This song has acted as the anthem for great achievement since its release in 1997. Very few songs can convey the same feeling of success and achievement as this classic Queen number. Listening to this song on your way out of your classroom will inspire you to leave with a fist pumped in the air and an urge to scream to the heavens about your achievements. “You can’t not listen to this song after you’ve accomplished something of importance, It just wouldn’t feel right,” said University of British Colombia junior Alex Mitchell. Close your eyes. Turn your headphones all the way up. And end the semester triumphantly as Freddie Mercury assures you that you are in fact a true “champion of the woooooooorld!”

6. “Moment 4 Life” – Nicki Minaj (feat. Drake)

With the completion of another semester comes moments of reflection. As you leave for the summer, you should reflect on some of the best moments from the last couple of months. This Nicki Minaj track inspires you to do just that as it encourages you to have greater appreciation for the good moments and people that have led you to where you are now. “This song always hits home for me,” said Valdosta State University sophomore Alston Wilds. “It was a reminder that I had some of the most amazing people to help me in some form or another, even when I had a lot going on.” Appreciate the connections and experiences that the semester has given you to the tune of this encouraging Nicki number.

7. “Kids” – Sleigh Bells

No song better exemplifies the feeling of escaping from the inside in order to get involved in some summer hijinks than this energetic track. This Sleigh Bells song will not only encourage you to leave campus with a smile, but force you to run or drive away from it at top speed and find the nearest beach or sunny spot to chill in. The energy of this track will allow you to forget all about school for a moment and embrace the summer season for the fun and wild time that it can provide. That being said, only listen to this song if you find yourself leaving for break. Turning it on while still confined to a classroom setting can get dangerous. You have been warned.

8. “Here Come the Warm Jets” – Brian Eno

While finishing up the semester can evoke feelings of satisfaction, that doesn’t mean that it can’t take its toll on you. The past couple of months have exhausted you. This song by Brian Eno should raise your spirits as it begins with a kind of tired vibe that slowly transitions into a triumphant and exciting tune. “This song has a somewhat exhausted feel to it that relates to how I feel at the end of the semester. It also manages to sound positive and optimistic despite that exhaustion and leaves me in a good mood for the future,” said Florida State University junior Sam Sommers. Don’t let the lack of lyrics in this tune scare you away. This song captures a feeling of rising above the negatives. It takes you on a journey that will allow you to come out the other end in an elevated mood.

9. “Get Away” – Big K.R.I.T

With all the friends you’ve made over the past semester, there lies a chance that you’ve made some rivals too. Maybe you came across a student that you would always butt heads with in class. But the end of the semester has come, so why worry about them—or anything school-related for that matter? Shrug off all the stresses and animosity that the semester has caused you with this Big K.R.I.T. track. It encourages you to bask in your own excellence and not dwell on things that may have bothered you over the past couple months. Whether it be a crappy teacher, a bitter ex or a stupid rival, this song asks you to “get away from that bullsh–t” and enjoy the summer and the amazing experiences that will come out of it.

10. “Celebration” – Kool and the Gang

We’ve said it more than enough times already, but with the end of the semester comes huge accomplishments. The break that follows it should not simply be a reprieve from work and courses, but a celebration of another semester finished. I can think of no better tune to celebrate to that than the classic, and aptly titled, Kool and the Gang song. Dance your way into the break with a firm feeling of achievement and zeal. Join “everyone around the world” (or at least the area) in order to cement your freedom from the harshness of a college setting.

Chris is a Senior Editing, Writing, and Media major at Florida State University with minors in Film Studies and Music. He is a lover of all things nerdy and hopes to inspire others through his writing and commitment to enacting social change.

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