Most of us college students find ourselves struggling with self identity. We are all finding our place in this world, figuring out what we are going to do with our lives, wondering if people like us, trying to please everyone, not letting others bring us down...you get the point.
This time in life, from your late teens through early twenties can sometimes be a real struggle. It comes filled with a lot of stress and anxiety. It's a lot of, should I go out and party or should I stay in study? Should I dress for comfort for class to should I dress to impress? Should I do what makes me happy or should I do what will please those around me? If you don't have these struggles, then kudos to you!
However, if you can relate to any of this, then you know how draining it all can be and you know that sometimes you just want to give up. If you're anything like me, though, then you also find that music can be a great escape and awesome release from reality. It can also be your biggest cheerleader and encourager.
With that being said, I have put together a list of songs to help anyone who faces these problems and any other problems (college) life might throw at you.
1. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
This song is all about being true to yourself and not caring what others think of you. It talks about how anyone saying anything negative about you, is just bitter with themselves. I cannot even begin to tell you how many self-crises this song has gotten me through. "Everything, everything will be alright".
2. All Star - Smash Mouth
I mean, do I even need to mention that it's basically the Shrek theme song? How can that not instantly cheer you up? Not only that, but the song is literally about reaching your full potential and not being afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Comfort zones are exactly that, they're comfortable, but sometimes you gotta get a little uncomfortable to reach your all star potential.
3. Beautiful Life - Nick Fradiani
This song just feels happy when listening to it. It has such a fun and upbeat tune and such a good message. In this song, Nick is telling us how we've got this life filled with friends, family, opportunities, so we need to take advantage of it all. Life isn't just going to come to us, we need to go to it...and fun! We just need to live.
4. Don't Change - Lyrics Born
If you haven't heard this song, you're missing out. It's such a funky fun song and it's literally about the title of the song. Don't change anything about yourself. If people don't like parts about you, just prove them wrong. Be you and you'll be great. LOVE IT.
5. Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
I absolutely love this song. It is so peaceful and just warms the heart instantly. So times have been tough,huh? Darkness seems never ending? You're stressed to your limits? Well guess what? Here comes the sun. It's alright. Things are going to look up and feel brighter in no time.
6. I Refuse - Simple Plan
Now, I'm going to be honest. I'm a little bias towards this song just because Simple Plan has been my favorite band for the past 14 years BUT that doesn't take away any validity of this song choice. This song talks about all the negative things people can say and how society expects you to mold into their standards. In this song though, Simple Plan sings all about how they refuse to conform to the image others want them to have and they refuse to be apologetic for being themselves. I'm begging you to listen to this song. When you're listening and singing along, you feel SO EMPOWERED.
7. MMMBop - Hanson
DO I EVEN NEED TO EXPLAIN THIS? Everyone needs that one song that is fun and energetic...and this is that song! This song, no matter how much listen to it, will ever get old. It makes you want to smile and sing and dance and go tell the sun in the sky how much you love it. GO LISTEN TO IT RIGHT NOW.
8. Move Along - The-All American Rejects
Classic early 2000s punk pop song. The title says it all. Just move along. When things get tough? Move along. When everything feels wrong? Move along. Even if your hope is gone? Move along. Are friends, and classes, and work, and life just making you want to quit? Don't give up! STAY STRONG AND MOVE ALONG.
9. One of Us - New Politics
A lot of people know New Politics from their song "Harlem", but the actually have a lot of really good songs...10/10 recommend them all. However, they recently released this song called "One of Us". Guys. This song is such a feel good song. Sometimes life, especially in college, can make you feel lost and alone. It can make you feel so drained. This song, like many of the others listed, is all about making sure you're living YOUR life for YOU. Be yourself. Follow your dreams. And know that you are NEVER alone.
10. Stand Out - Tevin Campbell - The Goofy Movie
One, The Goofy Movie is the best movie of my childhood. Two, the soundtrack of the movie is incredible. Three, this song is so rad and exciting and empowering. Just go listen to it, ok?
Trust me, it was hard narrowing this list down to just 10 songs. I probably could have kept going for another 40. However, believe me when I say, these songs will help you through all the tough times. I know they've helped me. So the next time you're struggling with yourself, others, or life in general, just turn on one of these songs and have a one-man dance party.