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Aug 03 2016
by Evelyn Koch

10 Musical Theatre Songs to Get You Pumped for College

By Evelyn Koch - Aug 03 2016
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There's a musical theatre song for every occasion, and college is no exception. Here are 10 show-tunes to add to your preparing for college playlist. 

1. Not for the Life of Me from Thoroughly Modern Millie

Like Millie Dillmount, who left her small town in Kansas for the Big Apple, you are embarking on an adventure in a new place. While parts of it may be terrifying, you are also excited and wouldn't change it for the world. Don't dwell on how homesick you (or others) think you might be when you get there, instead embrace how anxious you are to start your new journey.

2. Mama I'm a Big Girl Now from Hairspray

Like Tracy, Penny and Amber try to express in this song, you're not a little kid anymore. You're growing up, much to your parents' dismay. This song humorously shows the struggle between parents and their children as those kids try to gain more independence and make choices for themselves.

3. I Wanna be a Producer from the Producers

In the beginning, Leo Bloom is stuck in his mundane job as an accountant, and desperately wishing he could pursue his dream of becoming a famous Broadway producer. In the end he quits his job to live out his dream. You can relate the "unhappy" portion of the song to much of your time in high school, where you found a lot of your work quite boring and irrelevant to your dreams. Once you're in college, you can actually start to pick your schedule and take classes that actually relate to what you want to do. Bonus points if you're a theatre major or if your actual dream is to become a producer!

4. Almost There from the Princess and the Frog

This isn't from a Broadway musical, but Tiana's story applies nonetheless. Who could forget all of the hard work involved in getting in to college? From AP classes to standardized testing to studying for good grades, you faced a lot of difficult work in order to be accepted into college. Even after your acceptance letter arrived, your work wasn't done. There's placement tests, orientation and packing, but you're starting to see your hard work pay off. You're close; one might say you're "Almost There."

5. Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid

Continuing with the Disney theme, number five is the ultimate song of longing. Like Ariel, you want to live differently than you do now. College seems like this whole other world because it's like nothing you have ever experienced before. It also fits because Ariel is longing to feel grown up, which is something you are currently in the process of doing.

6. My Shot from Hamilton

With its recent surge of popularity, it seems like there can't be any musical theatre playlist without "Hamilton," plus the song "My Shot" works so perfectly. You have been given the amazing opportunity to go off to college — an opportunity that many people do not get. Because of this, you have the chance to make a difference, whether that difference is in your own life or the world around you. Like Alexander Hamilton, you are eager about your new opportunity for an education and independent living and are determined not to throw it away.

7. What You Want from Legally Blonde

This song is rather long, but it's especially fitting since Elle Woods is working on getting into Harvard. Now, we all may not be going to one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, but we all had to go through hard work in order to be accepted and receive scholarships. By the end of the song, Elle gets to see her hard work and studying pay off, and with school starting soon, you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's even more applicable if you want to go to law school in a few years.

8. When I Grow Up from Matilda

This song is sung by a group of little kids, but it still fits because they're reflecting on all of the cool things they think they'll get to do when they're grown up. You are in the process of becoming an adult and now have to start thinking about what that really means. While some parts of adulthood may seem daunting, there's a newfound freedom to it that you should be excited about. Tip: don't listen to the end of this song if you don't want to cry.

9. I Wish I Could Go Back to College from Avenue Q

While this song is sad within the context of the show, it can still be exciting for soon-to-be college kids. As Kate and Nicky reminisce about how they wish they could go back to college, they list off some of their favorite things about college. Flexibility with classes and majors, as well as lots of opportunities and close friendships make college the perfect balance between childhood and adulthood. Plus if people want to go back to college, then there has to be something good about it.

10.  Through the Looking Glass from Wonderland

This last song is from a lesser known musical that only ran for about a month, but its act 1 finale song fits just as well as the others. The show, "Wonderland," takes an adult perspective on the well known children's tale, "Alice in Wonderland." When Alice's daughter is taken to the Land of the Looking Glass, Alice and her new friends must go "Through the Looking Glass" to save her. Like college, the other side of the looking glass is uncertain and the group feels both nervous and excited to go through. Also similar to college, the group knows that once they return from the looking glass they will not be the same people they are currently.

Now these are not the only musical theatre songs that can be applied to college, but they're a great start to help musical theatre nerds, like myself, get excited to go.

Lead Image Credit: broadwaymusicalhome.com


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Evelyn Koch - Youngstown State University

Evelyn will be a freshman this fall at Youngstown State University and she is currently undecided on a major. She loves wrtiting and musical theatre. You can follow her on twitter @_legallyginger

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