Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Just three months ago, we were finishing up classwork, studying for finals, and relishing in the fact that high school was finally over. That all seems so long ago, yet, at the same time, it seems as if it happened last week. I, for one, can say that these past few months have been exceptionally spectacular. But now as I ready myself for college, those moments of great fun are but a distant memory. If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling some sort of nostalgia mixed with anxiety and excitement now that a new chapter of your life is before you. Here are some songs that have helped me (and will hopefully help you) handle this collage of emotions:
“Here” by ¡MAYDAY x MURS!
Just let the song play once, then once again, once more, and maybe a few times after that so you can let the chorus resonate in your ears for the rest of your day. A song detailing the reality of not actually belonging, “Here” provides the comforting thought that you were — and you are — meant for much more than what those high school walls said you could do. So don’t worry, better times are ahead.
“East Liberty” by PARTYNEXTDOOR
“The summer’s over and we’re watching the sun finally set,” begins the Canadian singer, a rather appropriate statement for anyone returning to school. As the opening track to his debut album, PARTYNEXTDOOR 2, “East Liberty” sets the scene for the inevitable end of a beautiful summer romance. Whether you’re separated from a lover or simply a friend, don’t worry: PARTY knows what you’re going through.
“Lost in the World” by Kanye West featuring Bon Iver
With a verse reminiscent of a love poem and a chorus that echoes the human thoughts associated with being in a new place, “Lost in the World” is the epitomization of the college freshman experience. The last actual song on West’s 2010 masterpiece, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, this song is sure to help you through your anxieties about your first college experiences.
“A World Alone” by Lorde
“They’re studying business, I study the floor,” admits the seventeen year old singer, a statement that should appeal to anyone who is undecided about their major. Aside from that lone reference to college, “A World Alone” acts as closure for both Lorde’s debut album, Pure Heroine, and any relationships you may have to leave behind. Also, take note of the advice left behind in the final seconds of the song, “People are talking. Let them talk.”
“Child’s Play” by SZA featuring Chance The Rapper
This track starts out with the vivid imagery of SZA playing with dolls, not as a child, but as the twenty-three year old singer she is. I would argue it’s more than just playing: she is throwing away her childhood and facing reality, all the while living in this brief moment of childlike bliss. As an incoming freshman, I find it hard to believe that I’m no longer just a kid, and I’m sure many others do too. Hit play and reminisce about “how we used to was.”