An Open Letter To Music

Thank You, Music, I'm Forever Grateful For You

Without the presence of music, it's difficult to imagine what our world would look like.

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It's 5:30 pm on a clear summer day. I've just arrived in the parking lot of the BB&T; Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey. Disturbed, my favorite band, is set to go on at 7 pm. Hot dog and t-shirt vendors are posted up along the streets. Anxious crowds of teenagers to adults covered in tattoos and piercings are fast-walking, almost sprinting, to the entrance gates of the venue. The faint smell of marijuana lingers from a few blocks away. Loud chatter, cheers, and speaker systems from nearby vehicles deafen the air. My palms are sweating, blood is rushing to my head--I have to take a second to get myself in order. I check my pockets just to make sure I didn't forget my ticket at home. It's there ... thank god. I walk into the venue, eagerly show my ticket to general admission, collect my wristband, and enter the pit. Instantly, I'm embraced with people. People with interests, t-shirts, and overall excitement that mirror mine. I hear a few sound checks on the microphone, witness the gargantuan backdrop to the stage fall from the rafters, and hear the roaring noise originating from the amps. This is going to be a great night. I'm finally home again.

Music has gotten me through some of the hardest moments of my life, and there have been many. I consistently think about how to describe the effect that music has on my soul, and it's this: music is there for you in a distinct manner in which friends and family cannot be. Music fills a void that seems impossible to fill. Music has the ability to motivate, destroy, ignite nostalgia, force self-reflection--it serves any purpose out there. Lock yourself in a room full of music, and it will evoke just as many, if not more, emotions than having a conversation with your closest companions.

It's hard for me to admit that the popularity of my genre is long gone. The heyday for rock and roll was about thirty to forty years in the past. That's fine. In today's world, rap is undoubtedly the most influential style of music pertaining to the younger generations. That's fine. Older generations still gravitate towards classic rock, jazz, and blues. Whether you absolutely cannot stand certain genres or not, like I can't with country, modern rap, modern pop, EDM, etc., we're past the point of arguing which is "better". There is no "better" form of music than another. Why? Because music speaks to and relates to us in a multitude of ways. Much like colors, it's nearly impossible to describe.

That being said, let's never forget to acknowledge the impact that music has on our lives. Through my 21 years of living, I'm not sure if I could have survived without shutting my door, throwing in earbuds, and escaping from the world sometimes. I'm not sure if I would have been able to leave the comfort of my bed. I'm not sure if I would have been able to pass that test. I'm not sure if I would have been able to amass the motivation to get into the gym and grind. Let's also appreciate the fact that others enjoy music that you may not prefer, simply because they have the same feelings you do about it. Let's, for once and for all, extinguish tedious arguments about genres of music--and just enjoy it.

Take a lesson from Ferris Bueller--"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." So, stop, look around, and appreciate music while you still can.

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Summer In College Is For More Than Just Working

No, you're never to hold to have fun in the summer.

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There should never be an age where you stop having fun in the summer. The weather is nice, there are always things to do, and everyone is just naturally happier. So, regardless of whether you're 7 or 21, I'm talking to you.

During the year it can be hard to find a routine unless you are a very put together person. Sadly, I am not. Even when I tell myself I'm going to eat healthily, work out, and stop procrastinating, I usually don't follow through with that. At school, I find myself in somewhat of a constant catch-up mode. When I feel like I'm ahead on my homework or studying, that usually means I'm behind on being healthy in other aspects of my life. That is why I love summer. It's a chance to reset the clock for a second and catch your breath.

I get that having an internship or working is important for your post-graduation life, but having fun is important for your college years too. When you get a job in the real world, summer is going to look a lot different for you. That is why it's best to take advantage of the time now. This doesn't mean turning down that work experience, it means doing things other than just working.

First things first is finding a hobby you enjoy that you don't do at school. Pick it up for a little over the summer. Why not? For me, this is yoga. For whatever reason, I find myself too nervous to attend yoga classes at school. I have absolutely no reason to be anxious about doing something I like, but I am so I take the time to attend a few classes a week in the summer.

Secondly, try reading. Before you make that look of disgust on your face, think about the last time you read a book of your choosing. If it was recently, then kudos to you for managing your time well enough to do that. If you are not that person, then hello! I am talking to you. I am not a fan of reading because I usually associate it with homework. However, I find that when I have the time to browse the book section of a store for a few seconds, I find multiple books that jump out at me. During the summer I take the opportunity to read a little here and there. The nice part of leisure reading over school reading is that there's no deadline. You can read what you want when you want to.

Finally, learn something new. Again I usually associate learning with things that I am required to learn for my major. Learning something new that interests you is a different kind of rush. When I'm bored in class, I make bucket lists of little things I want to learn about. They can be big or small. One time I wanted to learn how to knit. Don't ask me why my 19-year-old self thought it would be sweet to sit on my porch in the summer knitting, but I did, and I'm kind of sad I didn't pursue that interest. When might I ever have time to learn how to knit again?

These might sound like quirky things to do, but you're young. Make a bucket list and try to cross one thing off each weekend. If you're like me, then you're a little scared of growing up. Scared you won't be able to accomplish all the things you want to. But, the fact of the matter is no one is going to make you accomplish them but you. So, take some initiative and do them. Summer is for more than just working; it's time to live a little and reset the clock.

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Cheers To Sophomore Year Of College

It's the end of an unchangeable era!

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As the year comes to an end, I would like to start with a huge thank you to my sophomore year. I'll be going out with a bang. Although it flew by like everyone said it would, I learned who I was as a person and let absolutely nothing hold me back. I never would have thought I would another major, Spanish, which I love so so much. I did. I am so passionate about business, but also the Spanish language and culture. I can do anything I put my mind to, and so can you.

Not only did I learn more with my studies, I learned some of the most valuable life lessons that I will forever hold dear to my heart. I learned to be myself and to ignore it when people try to judge me. Life is too short to pretend to be something that you're not. Next, I learned to chase after my dreams even if I'm tired of running. Dreams will come true if they are supposed to.

The memories will last a lifetime. The smiles, laughs, and hardships have shaped and molded me. I feel strong, stronger than ever. Sophomore year pushed me past my limits and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me. There are always great things ahead of each and every person on this planet.

I feel emotional because it is halfway over, but I am so excited to have the people who love me around me in the next coming years, and see what they accomplish as well. I've learned how to know my worth and know that people should respect me. I learned to not expect too much from people! Don't settle for anything less than what you deserve. With that being said, cheers to junior year!

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