Summer Playlist

15 Songs To Add To Your Summer Playlist

With summer right around the bend, you need some new music.

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I'm a big music lover. I'll listen to pretty much anything, from classic rock to classical. Music is like a kind of therapy, and it's helped me get through some pretty rough times. These songs are some of my favorites; they never get old. Whether life is going fantastically or not so much, these are definitely some jams to keep in mind.

1. Angela - The Lumineers

Released in 2016 on the album “Cleopatra,” this song has some seriously good vibes. It has a pure sound that’s relaxing and easy to listen to.

2. Cool Blue - Japanese House

This song is true to its name. It sounds like how water feels, with its electronic-indie mix.

3. A Thousand Times - Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam

Leithauser's raw and distinct vocals make this song. I can feel the power and emotion in his voice every time I listen to it.

4. Superposition - Young the Giant

A relatively new song, “Superposition” has it all. A pop-kind-of beat, enticing vocals, and catchy lyrics. I can’t get enough.

5. Northern Lights - Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab has been around for a while, and this track is on their newest album. I love listening to this one while driving; it feels like an endless summer.

6. Angels - Khalid

Everybody has heard “Young Dumb and Broke;" this track is from the same album. I love its simplicity, using primarily piano and vocals. Khalid's tone is nothing short of perfect in this song.

7. Open Your Eyes - Snow Patrol

This song is older, released in 2006. Regardless, I think it has an ageless, sincere sound. The lyrics are hopeful and powerful at the same time.

Old Pine - Ben Howard

This is one I’ve listened to a lot recently. It has a very relaxing, nostalgic feel. I can listen on repeat without getting bored.

9. The Gold - Manchester Orchestra

Everything about this song is perfect, from its strong, upbeat opening to its end. Listening to the harmonies in the chorus make me feel like I’m a part of the music.

10. Schizophrenia- Jukebox The Ghost

Fast, energetic, and fun. This is another fun one to drive to, especially when driving fast. It makes me feel invincible, like I can do anything.

11. Dissolve - Absofacto 

I can’t help dancing when I listen to “Dissolve.” It is incredibly smooth and sweet, almost like honey if honey were a sound.

12. Alaska - Maggie Rogers 

Maggie Rogers combines her amazing voice with new, different kinds of sounds. This is the song you listen to when you want to feel free.

13. Ghost - Jeremy Messersmith

Something about this song is haunting, and not just because of the title. The main guitar riff carries through the song, adding a little at a time and then all at once. This is another one I could listen to on repeat for hours.

14. Bambi - Hippo Campus 

“Bambi” is as smooth as silk from the very beginning. It has a kind of spacey, other-worldly feel, not only in the music but in the lyrics.

15. Airplanes - Local Natives

The beat of the drum draws you in, and the gorgeous harmonies keep you there. It has a very full sound, and just feels satisfying to listen to.

I hope some or even one of these songs can give you some kind of pleasure. Every one of them has helped me or made me happy in some way. They make my hard days easier and my good days better. Enjoy!

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Dear High School, From An Alumna Who Just Finished Freshman Year Of College

I may not have known it at the time, but you prepared me for the ride of my life.

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It was about this time last year that I was practically pulling my hair out because I was so close to the end of high school. Graduation was so close I could taste it. The air was warm, classes were dwindling down, and the classrooms I knew so well were cluttered with final papers waiting to be graded. Those four years went by so quickly, but at the same time, it felt like they dragged on forever.

I don't even know how I would describe high school. For me, it wasn't terrible, but by senior year, I could tell it was time for a change and I was itching to get out. In retrospect, I wish I would have held on to those final moments of high school. I wish I would have told my teachers how much I truly appreciated them. I wish I spent more time with my friends before I had to leave them for my next adventure. I wish I didn't take the warmth of familiar faces for granted.

I really thought that I knew everything back then. I thought that since I was amongst the older students at that school, there was nothing else that my high school could offer me. I had seen it all, learned all the tricks. I left high school knowing exactly what I wanted.

But here's the thing:

The way I see it now is that high school is not about figuring everything out. To me, high school is about preparing yourself to explore different opportunities and to give every one of those opportunities a fair chance. To me, high school is about acquiring skills that are necessary for any line of work so that you can enter college, or whatever that next step might be, fully equipped with the best of yourself.

Some people have their whole life planned out at an early age and they stick with that plan through and through. I applaud those people for finding something they love so much and committing to it wholeheartedly, but for a lot of us, the truth of the matter is that there is so much about the world and about ourselves that we do not know.

We owe it to ourselves to explore the unknown. Because what I have learned this past year is that one discovery leads to another and you never know what you might find along the way.

What I thought I wanted a year ago is vastly different than what I want now. And it's all because high school taught me to have an open mind about everything I do. High school taught me to put my best foot forward every step of the way. It taught me to stay humble and understand that there is something that I can learn from every person I meet. It taught me the value of exploration.

So, although I don't remember every math formula that I learned in those four years, the things that I do remember turned out to be much more valuable to me even if I didn't realize it at the time.

My advice to high school seniors as they count down the days until graduation: hold on to these moments, work hard until the end, stay humble, and always keep an open mind.

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College Made Me Feel Like I Can't Have Free Time

Every second that I do have free, I feel like I need to be working on some type of homework.

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There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.

I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.

I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.

That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.

After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.

When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.

But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.

That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.

And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.

Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.

I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.

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