High school is a mind-numbing experience. What is considered to be “the best years of your life” is actually a mosh pit of crude and immature individuals, fast approaching deadlines, and courses that are without a doubt designed to make you fail.
My senior year has by no means been an exception. However, here I am, my graduation date less than a month away and feeling more nostalgic than ever over my awkward, wide-eyed, fourteen-year-old self. Somewhere along these four quasi-miserable years, I managed to learn a copious amount about myself and the world I’m living in. The most important lesson I’ve learned, however, is that I’m never alone — no matter how much I feel that I am.
Music is one of those all-powerful forces that bring people together reminding us we’re all the same, feeling human love and pain.
It guides us in times of need, happiness, sorrow, excitement, and pain. Music stitches people together. We’ve all gone through high school experiencing the same feelings — even when we think we’re the only one who can feel miserable and energized all at once.
In an effort to characterize these feelings and pour them into a singular place I’ve curated a playlist dedicated to my people, the class of 2018.
1. “8TEEN” — Khalid
An ode to being 18 years old, the song touches upon feeling everything, being young and dumb, and experiencing everything you do as a kid. Despite the happy timbre, a closer listen to the lyrics reveals deeper meaning, a similar facade a lot of us put up in high-school — masking our true feelings with a content exterior.
2. “My Own Worst Enemy” — Lit
We make mistakes and situations worse for ourselves than they need to be, and we learn from this. This song characterizes feeling like you screw everything up for yourself, which sometimes we do (I definitely do) and being your own worst enemy.
3. “IDGAF” — Dua Lipa
Burning bridges is a part of growing up and as much as it hurts, sometimes its necessary. Friendships and relationships we thought would last forever come to an end. We move on, make new, better, healthier relationships and grow. IDGAF is the feeling of finally moving on.
4. “Sign of the Times” — Harry Styles
Welcome to the final show. It’s over. That’s a tough one to swallow. While you might be thinking “Finally! Good riddance! I’m sick of this school and these people!” all of the lasts you’re having are going to hit you. Routine gets boring but there is something comforting about seeing the same people and knowing exactly what you’re going to find when you turn a corner. Style’s perfectly captures what it’s like to avoid emotion when something comes to an end.
5. “Tongue Tied” — Grouplove
This song just feels like high school. It encompasses the feeling of having something to say but not being able to get it out.
6. “Ivy” — Frank Ocean
Breakups and young love anyone? Ivy characterizes what it feels like to break up with your first love. You still care about them and deep down you know a small piece of you will always love them. Even though you’re glad it’s over, there’s still a bit of melancholy lingering — and that’s okay.
7. “All Star” — Smash Mouth
Do I really need to explain this one? Too many iconic lines. It’s fitting for the memeiest of classes.
8. “God’s Plan” — Drake
People are going to hate you and want to see you fail — don’t succumb. You’ll figure it out. Get rested and listen to your mom. There’s a wild ride ahead of you.
Class of 2018, here’s to us. This playlist could be streamed on Spotify here.