College is an important part of our lives. We learn more about the things we love, make lasting friendships and become a more informed citizen of the world. As a current college student, I know there are many pieces of the crazy puzzle of college life. Many of them are fun to experience; some are difficult.
Music has the magical power to allow us to explore and express our emotions. The perfect song can help us cut loose and celebrate, comfort us, or teach us something. Since college will offer a broad range of experiences, there is plenty of great music to accompany this part of your life! With all that said, here’s a playlist of ten songs that will help you survive and enjoy college:
1. “93 Million Miles” by Jason Mraz
“Just know wherever you go, you can always come home”
I can’t tell you how many times I listened to this song the summer before I began college. The music itself—the gentle strumming of the guitar, soothing background instruments, and Jason Mraz’s smooth voice—is so relaxing. Whenever I was nervous about moving 500 miles away from home, I would turn on “93 Million Miles,” and just casually listening to the music was enough to calm me down. On top of this, the lyrics are incredible. If you move away from college, it is likely you will feel homesick at some point during your first (or second, or third, or fourth) year. It’s very reassuring to hear a reminder that home will always be there for you.
2. “Friends” by Band of Skulls
“Every Friday just about midnight/All my problems seem to disappear”
This song is one you and your friends can jam out. Hopefully, you’ve met tons of wonderful people in college. You all live for those weekends when you get to hang out and have a great time together. If you attend a traditional college campus, your social life is just as important as your academics. Surrounding yourself with good people with whom you can have fun is an ideal way to live for four years. As the song says: “My friends, they are so beautiful.” College and life overall is more beautiful with them in it.
3. “Love Into The Light” by Ke$ha
“Maybe it’s about the perfect place/To let go and forget/About the hate”
“Love Into the Light” has a very different sound than the Ke$ha songs you’re probably used to hearing on the radio. She is speaking very personally and honestly in this song about how to respond to negativity. In college, you’ll meet all kinds of people. Being in a diverse environment is great! With diversity comes exposure to a variety of personalities and opinions. Not all of them will be positive, but hopefully many will be. College is an excellent environment in which to remove yourself from the negativity of society and bring more love into the world.
4. “All Alright” by fun.
“Yeah it’s all alright, I guess it’s all alright/I got nothing left inside of my chest/But it’s all alright”
College (and life in general) isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There will be tough times, whether academically or socially. Learning how to deal with these difficulties is part of becoming an independent adult. If you have depression, anxiety, or a similar condition, coping with these experiences can be especially challenging. “All Alright” honestly looks at the struggles of life, recognizes that they suck but begins and ends with the comforting notion that “it’s all alright.” Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, everything will be alright in the future.
5. “A Preconception to be Proven Partially Inaccurate” by Norwegian Arms
“Before I knew it, I was a lone wolf drifter”
I would be completely lying if I claimed to understand fully what this song is about. That’s what I like about it. As a college student, I often feel like I don’t entirely understand the world of adulthood. All I can do is take what I already know, soak up as much as I can, and do my best to learn something. With that being said, I do think that it is at least partially about leaving what you know. For many students, going to college is the first time they live away from home for an extended period. You step so far out of your comfort zone that you have to adjust and create a new one. And that’s a great thing!
6. “This Year” by The Mountain Goats
“I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me”
John Darnielle, the lead singer of The Mountain Goats, is often cited as one of the best modern lyricists. His songs tell incredible stories that resonate with people of all ages. “This Year” is about leaving bad things behind you and moving full speed ahead to a brighter future. College is a time for working hard (academically and personally) to become the person you want to be. With this hard work comes some frustration. You will probably make a mistake or two along the way. What is important to remember is that no matter what, as long as you keep going, you will make it through!
7. “Flaws” by Bastille
“All of your flaws and all of my flaws, whey they have been exumed/We’ll see that we need them to be who we are/Without them we’d be doomed”
The members of Bastille always do a fantastic job of storytelling in each of their songs. In “Flaws,” they tell the story of two people—one who embraces their flaws, and one (the first-person narrator) who hides them. The narrator realizes that this is not a healthy way to live, so they begin to display their flaws proudly. Many people are insecure in middle and high school, and college offers an opportunity to change that. You are more aware that everyone, not just you, has imperfections. That’s what makes us human! To be your happiest, embrace your flaws. Work on the ones you particularly don’t like to become a version of you that you love. But never be ashamed of your flaws!
8. “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap
“So stay there/’Cause I’ll be coming over/While our blood’s still young”
The lyrics of this song sum up the feeling you have during those particular moments in college. Right or wrong, these snapshots make up the college experience and shape the person you become. The guitar’s strumming pattern and the percussion’s rhythmic pattern give the song a drive, making it feel as though every word is important. College has a similar ability to make every day feel like it counts. Another thing that I like about this song is that it’s about a youthful experience. Although we do a lot of growing up in college, at heart many of us still feel like kids. We have a youthful energy that we bring to everything we do. This song perfectly captures that spirit in the context of the ups and downs of life.
9. “I Lived” by OneRepublic
“I did it all/I owned every second that this world could give”
This song is an anthem about making the best of everything life hands you. In college, you’ll have so many new experiences; Whether good or bad, you will learn a lot and grow as a person. Rolling with the punches and celebrating the successes is the best way to live. The narrator of “I Lived” lists many hopes he has for the listener about how they will live their life. In essence, the message is that you should live fearlessly. If you’ve just finished a long assignment, an exam, or a semester, you can crank up this song and jam out. The upbeat tempo and inspirational lyrics will make you feel invincible.
College is a time of exciting change. It is the point in many people’s lives when they become more of an individual with their thoughts and opinions. The experiences you’re having right now will truly shape your adult personality. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate the good times and grow stronger by getting through the difficult ones. These songs will help you do both and much more.
What do you think of the songs? Have any to add? Let us know in the comments!
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