The Soundtrack To My Life

The Soundtrack To My Life

Some songs stick with you forever because of the memories associated with them.


My Spotify is littered with unfinished and add-as-I-listen playlists, but a couple of the most meaningful ones are titled "soundtrack to my life" and "songs i sing in the shower." Here's a collection of my favorites from each, and why they're significant to me.

The Distance by Cake

Conquering myself, then the world.

Photo by Aishath Naj on Unsplash

One day, a couple years ago, I was running across the street the get to catch the bus. It was very late in the afternoon, and the sun was just beginning to set. As I crossed the street, the chorus of this song began to play. It has this upbeat and sort of aggressive melody that makes me feel like I can take over the world. The lyrics go, "He's going the distance / He's going for speed," and for some reason just those two lines made me feel like I was on a mission, and now every time I hear it, I feel like I can conquer anything.

Even My Dad Does Sometimes by Ed Sheeran

Foggy forests are the perfect backdrop for sad songs.

Photo by Jorge Garcia on Unsplash

Sometimes I visualize very vivid scenes just by listening to a song. I used to listen to this one all the time in high school in the early mornings when I'd drive to school as the sun rose. But when I hear this one, I imagine myself laying on a little rooftop of a treehouse where I can see above dark green forest around me. And when I'm there, I can sense it's that time right before the sunrises and the morning dew sits peacefully on the leaves and the grass, right before the world wakes up. The lyrics of this one are sad, yet hopeful.

Drew Barrymore by SZA

Me, being me

Samantha Abad

I've always been confused about the way I perceive myself because one moment I feel worthless and the next moment I'm wondering why not enough people see the uniqueness that is me. I love this song, and a lot of SZA's other work because she sings a lot about her worth and figuring out who she is as a woman which is something I think a lot of us can relate to, especially at this in-between age of adolescence and adulthood.

In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins

Phil Collins' Face Value Album Art

Okay, first of all, the video for this song is so weird, and I love it. But most importantly, who doesn't love the super dramatic drum solo in the second half of the song??

Lens by Frank Ocean

Empty intersections at night feel like a time warp.

Photo by Felipe Bertarelli on Unsplash

This is another song that gives me a really strong visual. I'm sitting in the back seat of my dad's new car, the smell of the leather still sticking to my clothes. It's almost midnight, and there are only a few cars lighting up the road. Specifically, this song makes me think of the moment a red light turns green at a dark and empty intersection.

Good Life by Kanye West

If Kanye is happy, then so am I.


I mean, come on, the name of the song itself motivates me! Most days, I play this song as soon as I get off the train and walk to work. It pumps me up; it's like my own personal walk-up song for each day.

I Am That I Am by Peter Tosh

We're a part of the universe, and we've got galaxies inside our souls.

James R. Ead

The first time I really paid any attention to the lyrics in this song was at a really opportune time in my life for me to start discovering more of myself. I like the "I am" aspect of this song because it reminds me of God and how I'm a part of something bigger than myself.

Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae

Taken from the passenger seat of my mom's car. Look at those clouds!

Samantha Abad

My mom had a CD with random tracks on it that we used to listen to when we'd drive home from practice. She'd always time it perfectly so that the song ended right as we pulled into the garage. This song has a special place in my heart.

Sugar, We’re Goin Down by Fall Out Boy

Yes, those are antlers

Another weird music video, but nine-year-old me had this song on repeat on my pink iPod mini and knew every single lyric.

Summer Friends by Chance the Rapper

"The Bag"

Samantha Abad

If you can listen all the way through this song and not feel anything, then I can't trust you. The summer of 2016 was remarkable; it was the summer after my first year of college. I was on the West Coast, and everyone from school lived far away, so we did a "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" sort of thing - except we had a backpack filled with letters, photos, and souvenirs instead of jeans!

Redemption Song by Bob Marley

Liberate your mind, free your soul

Growing up, my dad had stacks on stacks of CDs, and now I think he's downloaded about every single song ever created. He was one of my biggest influences in regards to my music taste. I remember listening to a lot of Bob Marley when I was younger. My favorite line in this one is "emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds" because I know how mentally draining life can be and it reminds me that the mind is a powerful thing and the only thing I truly have to myself.

Listen to the playlists I pulled these songs from here:

soundtrack to my life

all time favorites

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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