The Freshman Mix Tape

For Those Who Wander Lost is a blog-site dedicated to the Class of 2013 but with enough room for guest contributors to share their pearls of wisdom, advice, rants, and stories about college life and beyond. Posted here with permission by the author, the lovely Olive of Blather, rinse, and repeat.  It is also a sister response to my own article, An undergrad story told in musicals

I love mixtapes. Actually, allow me to correct myself. I’m too young for mixtapes, but I love mix CDs. Ever since my sixteenth birthday, when I was lucky enough to get a car, I’ve been burning CDs of all my favorite songs at a given moment, labeling them with the date. I guess it’s my version of a photo album- my way of going back and remembering how I felt on this day in particular. Music does that for me. I’m one of those nerds who still has music on their iPod from the 6th grade because she can’t stand to delete a single song (resulting in tens of thousands of songs on a single mp3 player).

I’m only a freshman; my story has only just begun. I don’t have a whole college career to look back on, but I believe freshman year is the time in college that you undergo the most changes. It’s getting acclimated to being without your parents, without your high school friends, living in relative independence. It’s screwing up your laundry and not feeding yourself properly and having strange sleep schedules and meeting people who change your life.

This year has arguably been the best of my entire existence, so I can’t wait to recap with y’all. Most of the songs in this playlist were added to my iTunes library during my first year here at NYU, though not necessarily in chronological order. And I realize some of these songs are years old. Irrelevant. For whatever reason, I only added them just now, and they were an integral part of my freshman year of college.

Carry – Chris Ayer

This song, by one of my favorite artists of all time, basically describes how I felt at the end of my high school career, moving onto college. I knew that I still had a lot to figure out. I thought I knew a few things–what my major would be, what my friends would be like, how my studies were going to go… It didn’t take long to realize that I actually knew nothing. So I decided I was going to figure it out, but I wasn’t going to worry about figuring it out. It’s okay not to know what you’re doing. If there’s ever a time to be clueless, it’s now. But I’ll figure it out… eventually.

 New York City – moe

College is always a big transition, no matter where you’re going, but I was moving from a mostly suburban town in the conservative south to one of the biggest, most liberal cities in the world. Talk about a culture shock. I mean, New York City. There are people who can only dream of living here, and here I am, attending college. It’s ridiculously romanticized, but there are moments when the city truly seems romantic. It wasn’t even a month into classes when I realized it had become home. Nothing against my hometown, but there was something about the city that I felt familiar and comfortable with, even during my first few days in New York. Words can’t describe how lucky I am to be here.

 In Love – July

Obligatory instrumental track! During the maybe two weeks of pleasant autumn weather before winter came, I would take a lot of walks. I would look up at the different buildings and study their architecture, smile at the dogs on the street (while fighting the urge to pet each and every one of them), and dwell on the amazing friendships I had made that were already starting to change my life. I was in love. Not with a person or an idea, but with everything. I was in love with New York City, I was in love with my classes, I was in love with the weather, I was in love with all the people around me, I was in love with life. It was just the most content, happy feeling. It was then that I realized I made the right decision in coming here. I knew that this was where I was meant to be.

 Paperman – Christophe Beck

Back home, I never used to watch movies. Not that often, at least. Only the really huge blockbusters. And then I came and made friends in college who are obsessed with movies. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent on movie tickets… and how many wonderful people covered for me when I didn’t have enough money at the time (I love all of you). The first movie I attended with this particular group of friends was Wreck-It Ralph. Before the film was the premiere of a short film– “Paperman.” I think I was just as blown away by the short film as I was by the movie itself. And don’t even get me started on the music. Too beautiful. This song is dedicated to all the movie nights I had this year, watching superhero movies, sci-fi movies, comedies, anime movies, movies about hobbits and rings, and even movies about “die-hards.” I have probably watched more films this year than I had the four years prior, and I have only my friends to thank for that. So thank you.

 My Boots – Lights

Where I grew up, winter lasts about a month, tops. When we get even half an inch of snow, everyone goes insane and runs to their nearest grocery store to buy milk and bread. And school is closed. People would smirk at me when they heard I was going to New York to college. “You’ll have to buy a winter coat,” they’d snicker. But it was true. I never had need for a warm coat before now. So I had my first Big Apple winter. I saw snow for the first time in a long time, and more at once than I was used to. I would go out in my knee-high rain boots and walk the streets as the snow drifted down. New York City as it’s snowing is one of the most beautiful places in the world. When it first starts to snow, there is nothing lovelier. When the snow starts piling up, however, that’s when we cry “Bah-Humbug!” No one wants to walk through that! This song is here to remind me not to get too cynical about winters up north. Yes, it’s a pain, but it’s beautiful, and something I couldn’t experience before.

 I Got a Boy – Girl’s Generation

Yes, it’s K-pop. No, it’s not PSY. I’ve actually been into K-pop for a few years now, so I couldn’t resist adding at least one Korean pop song to this list. I Got a Boy is probably my favorite K-pop song of the last six months, if not this year. That’s not to say it’s the best song (because it isn’t by far), but it’s the one song that I have continued to listen to since its release five months ago, and have yet to get sick of. The best part is the fact that I made friends this year who not only wouldn’t give me weird looks when I started singing Korean and dancing in the street, but who would sing along with me. I enjoyed K-pop more than ever this year, because I had friends to enjoy it with.

 Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker

This is the part of the playlist when I get homesick. There was a period when, as much as I loved New York, I would only listen to music that reminded me of North Carolina. I still love the city and living in the north, but there is a part of me that will always cling to my southern roots, and that’s okay. For every one thing I hated about the south, there was another reason to love it. The food, the manners, the accents, the music. These are the things I was raised on, and they’ll always be a huge part of me, no matter where I live.

 This Is the New Year – A Great Big World

 I love this music video more than words can describe. I see a bunch of friends hanging out and having fun and being themselves and oh my goodness, I just get a lot of feelings from this song and video. This is just such a flawless, upbeat, hopeful, beautiful song. Absolutely perfect for the new year. I know this year, I made a lot of resolutions that I’m sticking to pretty well. Stuff like letting go, not overthinking, and spending as much time as possible having fun. College being the fresh start that it was, I felt like my resolutions held more weight than in previous years, since I was already changing and becoming a different person. And still being a freshman, I’m still hopeful and starry-eyed and excited for the future. And this song sums that feeling up rather perfectly, if you ask me.

Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

 On a karaoke trip with some of my friends, I started singing this song. Angie (AKA. The Wandering Girl, the owner of this blog! :D) freaked out and sang it with me and we both had a wonderful 90s moment. This song set off a wave of nostalgia for the both of us, it seems, and we both ended up listening to 90s music for a bit afterwards (I remember her making a request on Facebook for some songs to add to a playlist). Angie being a senior in college and me being a freshman, we’re both in a transitional stage in our lives, and I guess it makes sense for us to want to cling to a safer time, even if it’s just through music. I can’t tell you how much Backstreet Boys I listened to last summer. And of course, that stupid Vitamin C song that everyone knows before you even say the title. Yeah, that one. Music can do that to you. It can take you back to a happier time, or a simpler one, or even a dark time if that is what you so desire. I guess this is my case in point for making this post in the first place.

Bulletproof vs Release Me – The Outfit

Pitch Perfect. Possibly my favorite film of the year. One that inspired much bonding amongst friends. Angie and I went on a mash-up binge, and another friend and I got hooked on the cup song (like the millions of other teenage [and younger] girls on youtube). I don’t really have much to say about this song in particular, because it’s just a happy memory for me. This song will always remind me of freshman year of college, and these two lovely seniors who obsessed over this movie with me.

It’s Time to Run Juliet – Flipboitamidles

More mash-ups because I wasn’t kidding when I said Angie and I went on a mash-up binge. There is nothing that can make me happier than that experience when two wonderful songs are blended so perfectly that it seems like they were made for each other. This was probably the mash-up that started it all…  We were singing Check Yes Juliet for weeks, you don’t even understand. When our friend group latches onto something, we are obsessed for a period of time. One of us will start and get the others going and it’s just this never-ending cycle. It’s amazingly fun, and one of the things I love the most about us.

The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson

This year was also the advent of my self-esteem. I’ve always been the introverted type, who secretly didn’t feel good enough for anyone else. Through my various friendships and relationships, I finally became confident in myself, my personality, and my body. There’s something to be said about the effect other people can have on you. I don’t fully attribute this change to the people in my life, but they were definitely a catalyst. When someone accepts you and loves you for exactly how you are, you kind of realize, “Hey, I must be pretty awesome.” And yeah, you are. So even though this is a love song, it’s dedicated to everyone I love, friends and family included. ‘Cause y’all take me the way I am. :P

I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons

Here come the feels. Um romantic first, I guess. There’s this boy. I may or may not like him a lot. We may or may not have been dating for two months. And he may or may not be about to go to the absolute other side of the world for an internship this summer. Neither of us want to deal with a long distance relationship, let alone with a 12 hour time difference in the way, so we’ve agreed to take a break. Just thinking about the summer makes me want to cry, so it helps me to listen to this song. This is my dedication to him. I’ll wait. And it will be worthwhile, because I think we might have something kinda special. Maybe.

Rescue – The Summer Set

Feels, pt. 2. Dedicated to everyone I’ve met in the last year, as well as friends from home. There isn’t much that I can say that this song already doesn’t. It’s more of a promise than anything else. So yeah. Listen to this song and you’ll realize how I feel about all of my friends. I’m just getting super feels-y because so many of my friends are upperclassmen, some of whom are graduating this year. Even though we haven’t been friends for long, I want them to know I’ll be there for them no matter what. And I refuse to make myself cry, so it’s time to move on to the next song.

Graduate – Chris Ayer

 This last one, I actually had to upload to Youtube myself, because it didn’t exist beforehand. I seriously like the idea of cycles and coming full-circle and having continuity of sort, so the last song is by the same person as the first. This basically describes how I feel about my graduating friends. “I’m gonna lose you.” They’re all moving on and possibly moving away, and it’s hard not to feel like I’m being left behind. I know they’ve got great things ahead of them, and I’m honestly so happy for them and so proud. I just hope they visit as often as they can because they changed my freshman year for the better, and I owe so many good times to them. So I guess my closing thought is a dedication to them. I wish them the best of luck, and I know we’ll keep in touch, because I will force them to keep in touch. Whether they want to or not. ^_^

So yeah, this is just a little glimpse into my freshman year… Some things I learned, and some things that meant a lot to me. It was a big year year, full of changes, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I can’t wait for the years to come… Hopefully you enjoyed the different perspective!

-Olive of Blather, rinse, and repeat


One thought on “The Freshman Mix Tape

  1. Going to have to like this because girl you are going to make me cry ugh get over here so I can hug you
    I wish you nothing but the best for your next three years, because I know you, and I know you will do something brilliant and amazing in the time allotted to you =)

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