This is a continuation of the College Playlist series of posts, covering my second year of college. You can find the first post about year one here.
Third Semester, Fall 2012
I look back on my sophomore year fondly. It was a lot of fun, stressful, loving, and I lived with girls who became my college family. Our frequent dance sessions in our obnoxiously large common room were always a good time. We’d turn off all the lights — except the flashing Christmas lights — and act ridiculous. I mean, we always did act ridiculous, but this time we did it with music.
Gangnam Style – Psy
We’d work up a sweat to this hit before belting out the other top 40 hits.
Mean – Taylor Swift
Sometime in the early fall, New Paltz was scheduled for a hurricane. After Irene (which resulted in a campus- and town-wide blackout for several days, effectively canceling one of our first weeks of classes and making school “camp”), we battened down the hatches and waited for the storm to come. We might have belted out this out a window wearing a Viking hat with horns. Who knew Taylor could be so primal?
Fourth Semester, Spring 2013
This winter had been really tough on my family. I don’t remember listening to any music during this time. I only remember the good times — so I’ll include some more favorites from our dance sessions here.
International Love – Pitbull ft. Chris Brown
I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift
Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
If any song defined my sophomore year, this was it. My suite mates and I would belt out this song at each other. (To get the full effect, you’d have to imagine us incredibly out of key and practically hoarse from screaming.)
Second Summer, 2013
I sometimes joke that I peaked in the summer of 2013 and my life is all downhill from this point. This was “the” summer, probably one of the defining moments of my college experience, and one of the best summers of my life so far — quite possibly one of the best summers of my life ever. I had been accepted as an ASME intern, was working at Woman’s Day as a health editorial intern, and living with five other interns who became my summer family. Since I was the only native New Yorker, we toured New York, ate tons and tons of delicious food, and celebrated our magazine successes. It was an amazing time. I’m so thankful for the opportunities the program gave me. I will never take the experience — or living right off of Union Square — for granted. Here are some songs that always remind me of the good times.
Sonsick – San Fermin
We saw San Fermin at Webster Hall during one of the first weekends of the summer. I’d never been to Webster — we walked down the Bowery and I remember thinking — wow. This is it. This place is so famous for all the amazing musicians who have played here. Think of the history! Think of the music! San Fermin was just starting out at the time. I remember their songs as hauntingly beautiful. Here’s one of their better-known songs — one they played that night. Walking home, we were so exhausted — but it was so worth it.
Pompeii – Bastille
Before this song got wildly popular, I remember thinking — Bastille who? I listened to this song on my friend’s computer in our NYU apartment, above Duane Reade on 3rd Ave, and I was instantly hooked. (But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all?)
Breezeblocks – alt-J
This song is creepy. The music video is beautiful. You have to watch it for the full effect. In this age of fast-forwarding and instant clicks, this is one video I’d still sit through. (Sorry, short attention span.) I saw this for the first time when I heard Pompeii.
Hall of Fame – The Script
This was the year I roadtripped with friends to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania to see the Mixtape Festival. We saw Train (a longtime dream of mine), Hansen, Gavin DeGraw (amazing live!!) and The Script. The Script blew me away — they’re incredible live. The lead was a few feet away from us in the bandstands at one point in the show.