Everyone needs a soundtrack for their lives, especially when they’re about to hit a milestone. Here’s some tunes to get you ready for your first year!

1. “Victorious,” Panic! At the Disco

Key lyrics:

“Tonight we are victorious!”

“Are we gonna turn up the crazy, living like a washed-up celebrity, shooting fireworks like it’s the Fourth of July?”

You made it! Through those awkward, hilarious, embarrassing, and wonderful high school years, you’ve emerged, victorious. A new chapter of your life is about to begin, and you deserve to celebrate! Get pumped— college is a crazy fun time.

2. “Our New Intelligence,” River City Extension

Key lyrics:

“Away, I think that I should get away sometimes.”

“Despite how much I love my home, I find I’m missing Baltimore.”

For many of you, this will be the longest time you’ve spent away from home. Although scary at first, this newfound independence is where you’ll really begin to find yourself. In the first semester, homesickness is the new common cold— even for those who were boarders in high school. It really helps to highlight the positives in moments when you miss home: your friends, your clubs, the opportunities the college gives you, etc. Eventually, you might even be homesick for college during breaks!

3. “She’s My Winona,” Fall Out Boy

Key lyrics:

“Hell or glory, I don't want anything in between.”

“You gotta show the world the thunder.”

As the semester starts, the academic challenges begin. How to balance everything you do (music, sports, theatre, or clubs) with your work? When do you sleep? And what about that professor you swear hates you? This year will be a true test of your organization as well as your strength, so get ambitious! And never forget to bring the thunder.

4. “Move,” I Fight Dragons

Key lyrics:

“Just run until your legs start shaking, don’t stop until you hit the floor.”

“And I hope someday we find our way, ‘till then we’ve got an awful lot to lose— so get up and move.”

“Don’t stop when everybody tells you. Don’t stop when everybody does. If you’re the only one still moving, then keep on moving just because.”

Honestly, this whole song could go under “key lyrics.” As the material in classes gets harder and more is expected of you, it’s important to keep moving. It can get overwhelming as you try to do everything, for sure. But when things get tough, draw from your ambition to find your drive to go above and beyond, You can do this, it just isn’t easy.

5. “Carry Your Will,” The Mowgli’s

Key lyrics:

“Cherish this, ‘cause when it doesn’t last, you’ll wish it had.”

“Somehow, we found each other, somehow we found hope.”

“Let your faith guide your fate.”

Just like how there are some incredible highs in your first year, there are going to be some lows. Let your friends take care of you, or, if what you’re experiencing is little more intense or private, reach out the the support systems the college has in place for you. Enjoy the moment as much as you can, and don’t let little worries ruin your experience, but know that everyone needs help at some point.

6. “New Romantics,” Taylor Swift

“Honey, life is like a classroom.”

“Every day is like a battle, but every night with us is like a dream.”

“We’re too busy dancing to get knocked off our feet.”

Your momentum as you bounce back from a low can really shape you as well as your year. The skills you gain as you recover from a bad grade on an essay or test change your work ethic for the better. The wisdom you inherit from dead relationships and failed friendships teach you about the kind of people you actually want to keep in your life. With a strong enough rebound, you can even end up in a better place than you started.

7. “The End of All Things,” Panic! At the Disco

Key lyrics:

“Whether near or far, I am always yours.”

“In these coming years, many things will change, but the way I feel will remain the same.”

You’ll begin to realize, as you get more used to college life and more involved with friends and activities, you’ve begun to make college your new home. When you visit your actual home, you’ll take pieces of your new experiences with you. Maybe everything you’ll want to talk about will be college-related. And you’ll also notice that you’ve grown. Nothing’s quite the same anymore. Your passions may stay, but you’ll have new ones, too. You’ll still be super close with your best friend, but you’ll also have two new besties back on campus. Nothing’s different, but everything’s changed.

8. “Stars (Hold On),” Youngblood Hawke

Key lyrics:

“We’ve all got the sun to follow.”

“The future’s not that far away.”

“We’re all fighting to make something for ourselves.”

In the end, the most important thing to keep in mind is that college is all about you, the student. In this place, you are given nearly limitless opportunities to change your dreams and grow into someone who can make a difference in this world. And sure, it can get a little hard, but this year’s step one in becoming the person you want to be. Never forget that.

Now go! Kick butt and take names! And along the way, listen to some cool music to keep you going:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2a-Jct9tbQ...