The creation of this playlist threw me, head first, into nostalgia about my college life. Here are some songs that I believe make up my college experience. These songs make me laugh when I remember a time I was being goofy, make me nostalgic for the beginnings of my college career and friendships, and make me remember how, despite the roller coaster of my college experience, I survived. I hope you enjoy this journey. I’ve done my best to write explanations of songs, and what they mean to me, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly capture that. Some simply remind me of a mood, or a mantra I’ve had in the past — they’ve all been a part of me in some way, and I’m thankful for music that helped my mindset.
Day 35: Beginnings are scary, but they’re also beautiful. Don’t be afraid.
Orientation – Summer 2011
Survivor – Destiny’s Child ft. Da Brat
I had a solo during lip sync of orientation. SUNY New Paltz has orientation groups perform lip syncs (essentially, song/dance numbers that can be silly or elaborate, usually both! Here’s an example from 2012.) I remember my parents saying they were really surprised I came out and had a little dance solo. It was a little thing, but it was one of the first steps I took to becoming more outgoing in college. I started putting myself out there and worrying less about what people thought of me. It was pure fun. (Side note: Orientation was probably one of the most exhausting, exhilarating and amazing moments of my life! I remember meeting Melanie Kaplan (my two-year roomie, still my bud and now a Disney College Program vlogger) in the Lecture Center during one of the mandatory lectures. We had to sit for hours to listen about campus safety…and then we’d be herded to Hasbrouck to eat. Again. And then have some sort of bonding sesh with the other freshmen at night. When I look back on it, it’s all so organized and bizarre…I had a lot of fun, though. I barely slept (huge thunderstorm the first night, and I was too nervous to sleep), and came home full of stories and full of New Paltz pride.
First Semester – Fall 2011
Someone Like You – Adele
Composition I & II are required for New Paltz students as part of the general education requirements. I had credit for Comp. I already, so I headed straight into Comp. II. This is still one of my favorite classes I’d ever taken at New Paltz — he was a genuine, irreverent and kind professor who engaged his students with great literature. One of my first college essays was on the science of barefoot running for his class. One of the running jokes during the course was how Adele’s “Someone Like You” would play in the background of his dream as he shopped in a grocery store.
Master of Art – Laura Stevenson & The Cans
I first started listening to Laura Stevenson in September of 2011, thanks to the suggestion of my boyfriend. This was around the same time I discovered Spotify — I made a giant playlist of her songs and listened to them on repeat. I saw them perform live in September and the show was amazing. I was two feet (if even!) from the stage. This song — it’s romance, it’s patience, it’s kindness and new love.
The Credits to The Royal Tenenbaums
I believe I saw this movie in late October/early November. The credits make me smile. Pure memories of the movie playing in a pitch-black room. Looping music. Late night conversations.
Second Semester – Spring 2012
All In – Lifehouse
The entire album Smoke & Mirrors deserves an honorable mention here, because I listened to it on repeat during winter break. I wrote in my journal on my bed, on vacation with my parents, blasting this album and thinking lots of happy thoughts.
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
This was the chosen song to blast on repeat by the race organizers (I believe it was around mile eight or nine.) This song is a total mantra song — I love it, and every time I hear it, it makes me think of how difficult and awesome running my first half-marathon was.
First Summer, 2012
Some Nights – fun. I remember driving around to this song, especially late nights driving home at two or three in the morning.
Years two and three are coming soon!