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8 TV Episodes To Watch (& Cry To) Before College Graduation

Believe it or not, college graduation is closer than you think. I’m shaking just writing about it. If you’re a senior, the thought of the big day might carry both relief and an immense sense of dread. All your life, you’ve probably been a student. And now, in just a short amount of time, you’ll be off on your own. (Not to stress you out or anything.) 

Lucky for you, you have means to help you grapple with your post-grad fear. Television, as always, is one of the most dependable coping mechanisms out there. You deserve a break from all those job searches and apartment hunts. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and all the countless other streaming services have you covered. Ditch your cap and gown for your favorite pajamas. Who needs a diploma when you’ve got a remote and a drink in your hand? Instead of wasting your tears on grad school applications, cry to these episodes from some of your favorite series. Maybe they’ll even turn your graduation scaries into excitement. (Warning: This post contains minor spoilers.)

Community: Season 5, Episode 5, “Geothermal Escapism”

One of the most bittersweet parts about graduation is having to say goodbye to your friends. That’s basically the plot of this episode of Community, one of the most underrated sitcoms. I realize there’s an entire episode dedicated to graduation (Season 4, Episode 13, if anyone’s curious), but Troy leaving his BFF, Abed, never fails to make me cry — especially as a senior, when my closest friends and I are headed in our own directions.

Modern Family: Season 2, Episode 23, “See You Next Fall”

While Alex might be graduating from middle school and not college, it’s still a nice watch. “See You Next Fall” makes light of the chaos of graduation day and everything that happens before the ceremony. I’ll never forget Jay’s failed Botox.

Glee: Season 4, Episode 22, “Goodbye”

Again, this episode isn’t exactly about college graduation, but it’ll make you nostalgic for your last year of high school. You’ll be crying and singing along to Kurt and Burt Hummel’s performance of “Single Ladies” at the same time. 

Sex Lives of College Girls: Season 1, Episode 1, “Welcome to Essex”

What better way to relive the first day of college than with an episode of Sex Lives of College Girls? This pilot episode will bring you back to those early days on campus — and make you experience your most awkward moments all over again. As you wait for the third season to drop on HBO Max, take advantage of the two you can binge in the meantime.

Gilmore Girls: Season 3, Episode 22, “Those Are Strings, Pinocchio”

Another non-college episode, but graduation-focused all the same. Rory’s graduation from Chilton and the speech that she gives signify an important turning point in her relationship with Lorelei. While graduation might mean you’ll be further away from your family, it doesn’t mean you won’t be close at heart.

Wizards of Waverly Place: Season 4, Episode 27, “Who Will Be The Family Wizard?”

Nothing like a little nostalgia trip before your graduation day. Return to that moment in your life where you were stressing over who would become the family wizard with the finale of Wizards of Waverly Place. Again, this episode isn’t explicitly about graduation, but it’s a nice wrap-up to one of the best Disney Channel shows. Everyone gets what they want in the end (except Max, who was robbed, TBH).

Bob’s Burgers: Season 13, Episode 3, “What About Job?”

Finding a job is arguably the most stressful part of graduating. Bob’s Burgers, one of my all-time favorite shows, asks the question, “What am I going to do with my life?” While the answer may never be definite, it’s something all college seniors are grappling with right now.

Schitt’s Creek: Season 6, Episode 14, “Happy Ending”

Feel free to disagree, but this episode of Schitt’s Creek is one of the best TV finales ever. As the name of the episode implies, everyone gets their happy ending — and soon, you will, too! Just hang in there and don’t lose hope. Though graduation is filled with uncertainty, it’s also a celebration of all the hard work you’ve done.

Jill Schuck

Trinity '23

Jill Schuck is currently a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. There, she majors in creative writing and minors in rhetoric and media studies, with hopes of working in publishing. Aside from reading and writing, Jill enjoys traveling, practicing self-care, and spending too much money on matcha.