Full truth…college is a lot. For a kid that has never been away from home for more than like five days, I desperately urge to be in my nice cozy home with my nice cozy family. On top of being homesick, because of COVID-19…my life is not even close to being as cool as Animal House yet and I think that is what hurts the most right now. Things will get better over time, but right now I have been drowning myself in music: while I write, while I work on assignments, when I get ready and even while I sleep. Over the last month and a half that I have spent on campus, I have created a list of the top 15 songs that have been making my life a little easier and will hopefully help out any other college student or any other person who just feels lost and alone in the crazy year of 2020.
Even Though I’m Leaving; Luke Combs
For the past year, my mom has really gotten into country music (barf), but whenever this song plays I get chills up and down my spine. Being away from my family is really tough and this song captures the idea that even though they are not here with me on the next chapter of my life doesn’t mean they stopped caring; they will always be with me in the good and bad because we are a family. I just really like this song and everything it stand for. The lyrics are super emotional and Luke Combs has a super cool voice.
I Guess It’s Time to Grow Up; The Aftergreens
A little local music never killed anyone right? One of my favorite local bands is The Aftergreens and their surf punk rock sound. When I saw them live and bought their record, A Little Sad….but Kinda Rad, I didn’t think to much of this song but now that I am here in their shoes I get it! Everyone around me is trying to be all serious because they are a big ol’ college students now and you can’t help but thinking about your silly personality and about changing it. The reason this song made the list is because it makes me feel better that I am not the only one feeling like this; I shouldn’t have to change my whole personality to be an adult; nobody should!
The Wind Cries Mary; Jimi Hendrix
The Wind Cries Mary just really reminds me of my dad who is one of my heros. He is the silliest, smartest and greatest persons I know and when I hear this song I just think of him. He has such an original way of looking at the world and everything in it so it reminds me that even in hard times I need to be like him and find the best in the smallest things. The song itself is also something so amazing that you just get pulled in by Hendrix’s voice and that guitar lick that everything else around you just seems to disappear and melt away.
We all have a list of goals/dreams we wish to accomplish in our lifetime, but when the goings get rough sometimes those ideas get lost and forgotten. When listening to Dreaming, I remember why I am here at college and what I am working for! It is a real confidence booster and makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. I mean look at Blondie! Debbie Harry didn’t become Blondie overnight, it took time, commitment and I bet you money at one point a dream.
My Little Town, Simon and Garfunkel
Music is about feeling something, hearing something and being able to relate and feel the lyrics. My Little Town is that song that really reminds me of my hometown and my life; makes me feel something. It is a reflection of your town, your family and how you grew up. This place sounds great to use because it is the only thing we know, but the second we are out of that little town, we realize that there are so many other great things to see out there that make this little town look like crap. Life is full of adventures and the sooner homebody people like myself realize that, the better and more exciting our lives will be. This song also gets bonus points for having such bone chilling lyrics such as,“Twitching like a finger on a trigger of a gun.” If you didn’t just shiver a little….your lying to yourself.
Emotions and Math; Margaret Glaspy
Little Margaret here could not have pinpointed college life any better in her song Emotions and Math. The bridge of the song is, “I’m a woman acting like a kid,” and I mean….yeah! I have had so many emotions that didn’t necessarily have to do with math but other classes like writing and criminology and to cope with those emotions I did what any of us sensible college kids would have done, I threw a fit. It is almost a little embarrassing to be acting like that, but it makes me feel better that I am not the only one who is stuck in the middle of trying to act like an adult while also feeling the urge to curl up in a ball and act like a 3 year old.
How Lucky am I; The Lemon Twigs
Although it sucks to be a student right now, it really blows my mind that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to be attending a school that is giving me EVEYTHING I need to get my dream job and live my dream life. I think sometimes people, me included, can take things for granted such as education. Hearing this song is really a reality check. Things could be SO much worse in everyone’s life that sometimes just looking at what you have can really help brighten up your day. This song simply just reminded me how lucky I am to able to attend college and get an education.
Hope, Tenacious D
Now the D is not known for writing inspirational ballads and you are all probably very confused on how they even made this list of songs getting me through one of the toughest parts of my life. Hope, although very humorous, gets the message across that even in the midst of a nuclear holocaust, hope will find a way to shine. Keeping that in the back of your mind might just be the differences of having a really great day opposed to a really bad one.
Good Old Days; Kesha and Macklemore
Ever since this song came out I knew it was one that would be apart of my life soundtrack (we all have them don’t lie to yourself). The message is so strong and eye opening; do not take anything for granted and live the life you want to live. Especially here in college, these are the days of my life; this is the turning point for all of us to make friends, make mistakes, fall in love, break hearts and get our hearts broken! Tonight is the night and we only have tonight, live it up!!
When I Get Old, Descendants
Another song questioning growing up and becoming boring. It is just a lingering question that all college kids are probably having; will I still be cool, will I still be fun and silly or will I turn into something I don’t like. Makes me really think about who I want to be and what I want to make of myself.
Everything Has Changed; Best Coast
“Everything has changed, I like it this way” is the scary chores of this song. The whole song is a build up to the idea that sometimes changes are not so bad and you can get used to them. They might seem super stupid and scary at first but as time progresses, you will find you don’t mind this new thing and you will learn to embrace it. I hate change so sometimes this song makes me realize that I need to give things a chance before I put them down.
Next Year, Out of Sight Out of Mind
Local band alert! Out of Sight Out of Mind is another local band that I once again had to wait about 6 months before I really understood this song. It is hard not to completely dwell on the past but from year to year, I am going to be a different person; we are growing and learning new things about ourselves everyday. Sometimes we hope other people change from year to year but that is for them to figure out not you; I need to focus on my life and on how I want to live it.
Not for the Life of Me, Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie)
The point of musical theater is to make you feel better so we had to have at least ONE show tune on this list. The plot of Thoroughly Modern Millie is that Millie has moved to the big city and no matter how homesick she is or how bad things get, she is not going back! She is making a name for herself and starting her life. It is a good reminded to me that this is my time to make my mark even if it is super scary.
Going Away to College, Blink 182
Very appropriate title don’t ya think? The feeling of leaving so much behind and wondering if everything will be okay it one of the biggest monsters eating away at me. Perfectly spoken by lead singer Mark Hoppus, “I haven’t been this scared in a long time.” I fear that something will happen to my family at home or my friends at other schools and I will not be able to do anything about it. It really don’t think I have ever been this scared but this song helps me confront those fears and will hopefully help me overcome them.
Uptown Girl; Billy Joel
Billy Joel can get me through anything…even college.