Student Experience

Music to My Ears

This is a playlist with 10 songs chosen by an ANS senior, whose objective is to deliver hope on the current struggle the world is going through. Furthermore, she included songs that she believed they portray the stages that teenagers go through before becoming young adults. 


Song title: High Hopes

Artist: Panic! At The Disco

Had to have high, high hopes for a living

Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing

Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision

Always had high, high hopes

→ In times where we might feel hopeless, depressed or suffocated, it is crucial to listen to songs that can cheer us up and change the atmosphere quickly. Regardless of the lyrics that convey more about accomplishing one’s dream after overcoming failures, the repetition of the word “high hopes” transmits a positive message to the audience. This sense of hope is what we crucially need to overcome this global struggle. 


Song title: YOUTH

Artist: Troye Sivan

What if, what if we run away?

What if, what if we left today?

What if we said goodbye to safe and sound?

And what if, what if we’re hard to find?

What if, what if we lost our minds?

What if we let them fall behind and they’re never found?


→ The lyrics of the song convey the restlessness and anxiety of the teenagers or young adults, regardless of the singer’s hidden romantic message. These typical sentiments are present at a stage that every individual goes through in the transition between youth and adulthood. The endless chain of what ifs drive us to the abyss of angst. This is clearly portrayed in the lyrics. 


Song title: Stressed Out

Artist: Twenty One Pilots

But now I’m insecure

And I care what people think

But it would remind us of when

Nothing really mattered


→ I chose this song because of the lyrics mentioned above. I feel like these words really represent how teenagers feel as they slowly prepare to become young adults. Anxiety and insecurity are the two major sentiments that take over them, as well as the constant consciousness of how they are seen by others.Their lives are not completely driven by them, but rather by the outside influences. 


Song title: Stronger

Artist: Kelly Clarkson

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger

Just me, myself and I

→ This is another song conveying hope. Regardless of the meaning of the song as a whole, this part of the lyrics reminds us that obstacles we encounter strengthen us. I like this message especially at this moment since the whole world is going through difficult times due to COVID-19. This might last longer than expected, which means hope is the only thing we can hold on to in order to overcome it.  


Song title: Paradise

Artist: BTS

It’s okay to stop

You do not have to run without knowing why

It’s fine without a dream

If you have moments of happiness for a while

(translated to English)

→ This song transmits a soothing message to the individuals of all ages that feel lost in the society due to expectations and standards. Even though you are “supposed” to have a dream to pursue, these singers are telling the audience that it is ok to not have any. You don’t have to stress yourself trying to keep up the pace set by the society. You can take a slower time period graduating or even college late. Personally, these lyrics helped me move forward without having to think of the pressure I have due to the standards I am expected to meet. 


Song title: The Greatest Love of All

Artist: Whitney Houston

I decided long ago

Never to walk in anyone’s shadows

If I fail, if I succeed

At least I live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can’t take away my dignity


→ These lyrics simply remind us again that no one can make us feel useless or insignificant just because of our failures. Failures are acceptable; obstacles are everywhere throughout our lifetime. Overcoming them by loving and believing ourselves is an essential key. Due to these reasons, I believe this song is suitable for periods of hardships, like the one we are situated currently. 


Song title: Believer

Artist: Imagine Dragons

Second things second

Don’t you tell me what you think that I could be

I’m the one at the sail, I’m the master of my sea, oh ooh

The master of my sea, oh ooh


→ I absolutely love this song not only because of its attractive melody, but also because of the lyrics it conveys. Particularly, my favorite part is the one mentioned above because it reminds me that I am the owner of my life, so no one can manipulate me or drive me based on their preferences. I have the right to decide for myself, which means I have the responsibility as well over those decisions. I feel like in a way, this song helps me find my identity as a human being. Especially during the teenage years, I feel like being influenced by those around is very pivotal, yet it’s even more important to identify from whom we should get affected by. Due to this reason, I highly recommend this song to the students as they can learn how to believe in themselves throughout their life, recognizing that they are the masters of their life. 


Song title: Youth

Artist: Shawn Mendes

It’s hard to sleep at night

Knowing what’s outside

Feeling hopeless

I need focus

You can’t take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can’t take my youth away


→ This portion of the lyrics expresses the anxiety we live in, not only because of the Coronavirus but throughout the lifetime. The message it transmits is that despite all the hopelessness and anxiety we go through, we should always trust ourselves because it’s not the end. Our youth still continues, which means we can always overcome these struggles.  


Song title: The Way I Am

Artist: Charlie Puth

I’ma tell ’em all that you could either hate me or love me

But that’s just the way I am

→ This song is one of my favorites solely because of its lyrics. It transmits a message to everyone implicitly that no one should change themselves to fit in the mold of social preferences and standards, but rather remain original. Of course, everyone will meet once in a lifetime someone that dislikes them, but that is how life is. If there are people who can’t accept the way you are, it means that there are others that love how you are. 


Song title: Hopeful

Artist: Bars and Melody

I know it ain’t easy but that’s okay

Just be hopeful


→ I know these lyrics describe a kid struggling due to bullying at school, which might sound unrelated to the situation we are in as students, where we are spending the majority of the time at homes. Yet, I chose this song because the lyrics stated above go well with the message we need currently. We know that overcoming the reality we are facing due to coronavirus, which is hindering our daily lives, won’t be simple. Yet, if we are hopeful, we will be able to succeed in dealing with it.

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