Finals Week Playlist 2014

Day 39 Mantra: Blast some tunes and hang in there.

Keep your head up and push through finals week! (This is my last finals week ever of my undergraduate career. Craziness. That is an awesome feeling.) Here’s what I’ve been listening to (aka the songs that get stuck inside my head, for whatever reason.)

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“Centuries” – Fall Out Boy

“Geronimo” – Sheppard

“Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift

“Lips Are Movin” – Meghan Trainor

“Blank Space” – Taylor Swift

“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

“Immortals” – Fall Out Boy

“Fireball” – Pitbull ft. John Ryan

“Shut Up And Dance” – Walk the Moon

And if you can’t decide what you want to listen to…you could always listen to the 2014 United State of Pop Remix:

College Playlist: Year Three

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, and the second on year two here.

Day 37: After reflecting on my junior year…”You can do hard things.”

Fifth Semester, Fall 2013

Junior year…well, this was probably my toughest year in college. I was knee-deep in biology and physics work, and even though I loved it, I totally needed a “going to battle” playlist before exams. Roar was a vital part of my pre-exam ritual.

Roar – Katy Perry

This semester involved way too much analyzing and over thinking. Here are some of the highlights of the songs that got me through it.

Brave – Sara Bareilles

Lucky Strike – Maroon 5

I remember listening to a lot of Maroon 5 in the shower. Specifically, this song. Blasting it.

Giants Sleeping – Koji

I saw Koji perform for the second time at a basement show in New Paltz in October 2013. Koji is an amazing singer and songwriter — he speaks from the heart and encourages his audiences to be kind and building community. His shows bring people together. I remember when he sang this, and the crowd joined in, singing the choruses together. I absolutely love this album. It gave me strength and courage to get through a really hard time.

Sixth Semester, Spring 2014:

Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars

I went to a friend’s house in the New Paltz countryside to watch the Superbowl. (I’m not a huge football fan, but when I was younger, I would frequently get sick the weekend of the Superbowl, so I’d watch it anyway.) Bruno Mars blew me away with this performance. This song makes me think of leather couches, snacks, the horse farm outside and the crisp winter air before we hustled inside to watch the game. The video below shows the full halftime show — Just the Way You Are starts around 10:08.

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

I saw Imagine Dragons live at the IZOD Center in March 2014! They were awesome. I remember being scared of the stadium seating (I was incredibly high up) and in awe of the gigantic drum they used. It was a great set — like a giant sing-a-long.

Third Summer, 2014:

This was the summer defined by taking human anatomy and physiology over the summer! Haha. I did make some time in between sessions for fun — I saw The Backstreet Boys and Avril Lavigne live at Jones Beach on Long Island. The two best songs in the show? 90s throwbacks, including these two.

Sk8r Boi – Avril Lavigne

Avril, my Canadian punk rock name-twin, sounded amazing live. Just incredible — way better than any recording or televised performance I’d seen her in. Her range was so broad and just super fun. She was energetic and the crowd went crazy to this hit. I know it reminded me of summer days at the beach.

Everybody – Backstreet Boys

I couldn’t find the medley version, but this was the base for their opening song at Jones Beach in 2014. Suits + BSB + major nostalgia = an amazing time.

Rude – Magic

The first time I heard this song, I was driving home with the windows down after grabbing a meal with friends. It reminds me of summer sunshine.

Overcomer – Mandisa

Okay, confession time: I know this song is way more uplifting for much more dramatic situations than mine! The woman is battling cancer, for crying out loud. My problems are nothing. Let’s just say A&P I & II was an exhausting time in my life and I could use any peppy and uplifting songs on repeat. Forever. (Whatever it is you may be going through, I know it’s not going to let it get the best of you.)

Classic – MKTO

This song was on repeat for me in August. LOVE it. LOVE LOVE LOVE. (Okay, I’ll stop shouting now.)

Year 3.5 is coming soon!

Does This Optimism Make Me Look Positive?

I think this week was a reality check. I never really thought about how hard it would be to change my ways. I joke around that I’m a total old lady — complete with a get-off-my-lawn attitude — but now I’m realizing how much of that is true.

I’m a bit set in my ways. Even when I’m consciously keeping this blog on the back burner in my mind, I find myself slipping back to negativity and incessant worrying.

Most of the time, I win. But sometimes, I find myself thinking just the way I’m determined to move past — they’re thoughts without optimism, without authority or self-confidence.

I know I have those things. On some level, I’ve been coasting on the minimal amount of effort. And as someone who takes comfort in structure, the structure of my negativity-filled life looks almost appealing from the outside.

What could possibly be appealing about re-listing the negatives in your head, you think? It’s familiar. It’s known.

I have known I am my own worst enemy for a long time. It’s so easy to internalize events that may have nothing to do with you, and apply them to your own self-worth. And when you do this often enough, it feels normal. You internalize it, make it this ideology — and you don’t realize how false it is. For all you know, it is the truth. It’s just how you exist. There is no problem — there is only existing.

But I thought I was past this part of my life, this stifling viewpoint, or at least, that I would always recognize when I succumbed to its mantras once more.

I thought I’d thrown away my negative ideology and embraced the truth — that my life is fantastic, that I have so many supportive family members and friends and loved people in my life — but that’s not always what happens.

Examining the truth in your life changes everything. Suddenly, you’re faced with this new ideology that makes you laugh at your old ways. You see how wrong you were — and how hopeful the future can be.

But adapting to this new lifestyle is not so easy.

You would think that the positivity would beĀ  primarily comforting — but its most prominent characteristic is its unfamiliarity.

It’s like trying on a new dress for the first time, really. You want to like it…but it’s so different. And no matter how many people compliment you, or even when you see yourself in a mirror once in a while and smile at the fit — it still takes a while. It doesn’t quite feel like yours until you’ve worn it a lot.

I’m going to wear out this positivity until it’s mine. I just have to keep trying.

Day 7 Mantra: Wear out your positivity. It might feel weird at first, and that’s okay.

Also, it is totally impossible not to smile when listening to this jam: