If you’ve haven’t experienced college yet, you might find out very soon that a lot of things happen when you’re a College Student ™ that can’t necessarily be described in words. This is something I’ve struggled with in each of my two years so far when my immediate family and relatives ask me the same question over and over: How is college, anyway? Sometimes it feels like an impossible question to think about in my head, let alone answer across a dinner table or in the moment before hanging up a long-distance phone call. How do I explain how it actually feels to be in a place you don’t recognize yet and crawl into a new bed—a bed that hundreds of students before you have probably slept in—across from a person you met less than an hour ago? To walk into your first college Party and not recognize a single face you see? To get a little caught up in your newfound independence and impulsively cut off too much of your hair with rusty fabric scissors at 3:00 a.m. on a Wednesday??
Since I don’t quite have the words for any of those experiences (yet?), maybe the next best thing is representing them through the songs I listened to while I lived them.
I figure I’ll start at the part that happened just before actually stepping foot on campus for the year. In my case, that was the four and a half hours of lying flat across the entire back row of seats in a car full of practically everything I’ve ever owned, playing a game of “which limb will fall asleep next” in my head, and dramatically going over all the times I could have been a better daughter to my parents or sibling to my older sister as if I would never see them again.
The truth is, I would see them again in a few weeks, but the drive or bus trip or plane ride to college can feel like a dramatic transition nonetheless. Maybe it’s your last few hours playing those horribly uneventful (but dear to your heart) road trip guessing games and you’re hanging onto every last second, or maybe you’ve had enough of your tiny hometown in the middle of nowhere and you’re anxiously awaiting your first moments in a whole new place. No matter how you feel about it, that journey from Point A to Point B is a rite of passage, and I personally had a select few songs on repeat the whole time. Some are about leaving and starting fresh, some are about reminding yourself that you’re special and deserving, and a few are just the types of songs that make traveling less boring.
Please enjoy this short and sweet Ultimate On-The-Way-To-The-College-Of-Your-Choice playlist, and stay tuned for more in the future!