When I was about five years old, my dad made me a mixtape of some fun songs to listen to with my brand new CD player and in the car. By mixtape, of course I mean a blank CD with ripped songs from his many albums. At the time, it was the best thing ever, and I could say still is but the assortment might raise some questions. It started normally enough with some alternative rock and pop from Collective Soul and Gavin DeGraw respectively, but got a little weird halfway through when the scores from Jurassic Park came up followed by All Star by Smash Mouth which isn't a bad song to grow up on. Now that I'm older, I wonder what I would put on my own mixtape if I wanted to give a little insight into what I've grown up on since. These aren't necessarily my favorite songs, but may have been at one time my most played songs -- and possibly acted as a transition into a new genre or place in my life.

1. Better Now - Collective Soul

It seems that the beginning is a good place to start as this was the first song off the aforementioned mixtape. Let's be clear, I came from a household where at the time, I was an only child and if the radio was on, my parents were listening to a right wing talk show. So other than those occasional times on the way to the library where the radio graced my ears with the sound of Avril Lavigne, I wasn't exposed to a whole lot of music. This song all changed that as I listened to that addictive opening guitar riff almost every day. To this day, I still listen to Collective Soul as they have consistently put out quality albums since the early 90s.

2. Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty

This was the closing music to one of those right wing talk shows I mentioned and I believe the instrumental saxophone chorus is art and no one can convince me of otherwise. There was also this one time I tried listening to this song un-ironically and right as the chorus started, I walked outside and made solid eye contact with a possum. I like to think that was God speaking to me somehow.

3. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

"Why not Thrift Shop, Luke? That was his big song!" Well this song isn't a joke so there. It's honestly pretty impressive that after the success of a funny YouTube song, Macklemore was able to release an actual hip hop song with some real merit. For all intents and purpose, this song was the anthem of my knockoff polo, unibrow, nerdy glasses filled first year of high school.

4. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi

Okay, all jokes aside, this is actually my favorite song of all time. I feel this one doesn't really need a whole lot of explaining because it is oozing with passion. The Slippery When Wet album was Bon Jovi's peak and is the reason I have so much respect for 80s music.

5. Just Lose It - Eminem

Mom, if you're reading this, just don't look this one up. Being homeschooled for a decade and then getting thrown into public school at the ripe age of thirteen can cause some rebelliousness among one's music tastes. Sorry, I just couldn't listen to K-LOVE anymore. It is pretty funny because as "rebellious" as I was being listening to rap, this song had already been out since I was in kindergarten AKA my kitchen table. Oh yeah, also this song is fun but whatever, I wanna talk about my complicated upbringing.

6. Complicated - Avril Lavigne

Yeah, this was the song I was mentioned earlier. I didn't even know who this was song was by until I heard it for the first time in a while very recently and went through what might consider an out of body experience where I was projected across space and time into my booster seat in a crappy Subaru Outback driven by my mom as she was on her way to be healthy by shopping exclusively at Whole Foods.

7. King of Anything - Sara Bareilles

Considering I have a lot of issues with authority and expectations, this song speaks to me on a lot of levels. That is all.

8. Slow Ride - Foghat

One time I played this song on Guitar Hero for a straight five hours and ever since, it's been the most triggering sound of my life. Also, I was like nine with no real motor skills so just imagine hearing this song for an afternoon but with most of the actual notes missed. That's the real version to me.

9. Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin

The first time I heard this was in School of Rock which I think should tell you everything you need to know about me. But let's be honest, the Shrek 3 Snow White Version is much better.

10. Rockstar - Nickelback

Does anyone actually hate Nickelback or is it just a meme? Regardless, I like this song and my mom hates it which means I like it extra. I listened to this a lot when I was probably twelve because at the time, this song contained all my aspirations.

11. Pour Some Sugar on Me - Def Leppard

I started listening to this when I was four and still don't know if I completely understand the lyrics but it seemed fine to listen to, at least my Dad thought so. This opinion was brought to you from the same Dad that was like "What's that? You're two years old now? Jurassic Park 3 is definitely the next step in your cinematic life journey!"

12. Goodbye Stranger - Supertramp

When I hear this song, I sing "Goodbye Toby" instead. If you don't get this reference, feel free to click away.

13. I Want it That Way - Backstreet Boys

I'm listening to this all the through for the first time as I write this, but my dad used to sing this to me as a lullaby so I guess unconsciously, it calms me down.

14. Patient - Post Malone

When I arrived in college, I learned that playing show tunes in the shower wasn't exactly appropriate so I downloaded this song and then my credibility as a normal person skyrocketed. Luckily, I can still listen to show tunes in my personal time so take that society.