Although the first few months of college can be amazing and beyond anyone’s wildest premonitions, it can also be scary and rather upsetting. Let’s face it, even though we all look forward to the freedom and independence college gives us, there very well could be a part of us that still misses our friends back home. As a way to be open and to talk about these feelings, I enlisted the help of seven freshmen to lead the conversation about their first few months of college through a song of their choice.
1. Katherine: “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
“For college, I decided to move from my hometown in New York to Los Angeles. Being all the way across the country has been really hard but also really rewarding. I mean, I miss my friends and I miss my family, but being so far away has pushed me to become more independent and stronger in one month than in all of my years in high school. The decision was hard, but I knew in my heart that it was time to ‘Breakaway’.”
2. Jacqueline: “Who Will I Be” by Demi Lovato
“I feel like this song really portrays what's going on in my mind. You see, there are a lot of new opportunities I am being faced with and it's up to me to decide how I am going to respond to them. Being in college, even if it has only been for a month, has taught me how much responsibility there is in making decisions for myself, about myself and all by myself. Even if I make mistakes along the way, I know I will learn from them and that they will help me grow. I am excited to see where college will take me and who I will be when it's over."
3. Alyssa: "Jump Up, Super Star!" from Super Mario Odyssey
“As a person who loves video games and looked forward to the release of Super Mario Odyssey, this song made me feel better about jumping into college. The song is about starting new adventures but makes you excited for them. Since I've started college, I've been going to new places and trying new things spontaneously. This song has captured that optimistic spirit for me.”
4. Daniel: "Rock + Roll" by EDEN
"This song describes my experiences in college thus far because to me, it's about the artist's struggle with finding who he is and where he's meant to be. He talks about his desire to stop running away and filling the emptiness with temporary things. He says "I'm not scared of living." When he realizes that he will eventually figure things out, he shouldn't worry so much about it and should just go with the flow instead. He realizes he needs to live for himself and for the sake of living because in the end, it doesn't matter if he ever had his stuff together, what matters is that he lived a life worthwhile. It's one of those songs that maybe not everyone can relate to, but the ones who do don't forget it."
5. Marissa: “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
"My first month of college has been full of new experiences; they are experiences that are very different from the comforts of high school and living at home. This includes taking classes without my close friends from high school, whom I was very close with. I have chosen "I Hope You Dance" to describe my first month of college because even though it was a challenge to be separated from my friends, I have continued to wish them the best in their new endeavours. While I have been wishing for their successes, they have been doing the same for me. This song epitomizes the bittersweet feeling that has come with the drastic change of going away to college."
6. Liana: “Confident” by Demi Lovato
“This song perfectly describes my first month of college because it was in my first month that I finally started to learn how to be confident in my own abilities and to stand up for myself. In other words, I’ve come to realize that this is my time to show people what I’m really capable of. It’s not easy for me to step out of my comfort zone in this way, but this song reminds me to be fierce and not to let fear overrun me.”
7. Joshua: “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds
“The transition from high school to college is one of the toughest transitions one will make in life. For me, it involved not being around the friends that I loved. This song by Simple Minds is a reminder that no matter how far apart we may be or new friend groups that we may have, I will always remember the fun-filled memories and experiences for a lifetime.”
After talking with these seven freshmen, I started to think that maybe our college experiences aren’t so different after all. When it boils down to it, we all want the same things. We want to feel confident in our own skin and in our choices, we want to be optimistic and we want to keep in touch with the people who got us to where we are now. The campus may be different and the soundtracks may be different, but the lyrics all shout the same message.
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