Senior Year Soundtrack

What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time? How far back would you go? Personally, there are a lot of things I would do, including going back about four years and telling myself not to create a music playlist for my first year of college.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed throwing together my annual playlists to summarize each year of my college experience. But it’s hard.

First of all, I have the memory of a goldfish and can hardly remember what I did yesterday, let alone what music I listened to several months ago. Second, I usually get about five songs in before I start struggling. There are always a few that jump out at me, but the second half takes some extra thought.

In spite of those challenges, I felt it would be wrong not to finish out this tradition with one last playlist. So without further ado, I present the soundtrack for my senior year.

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Afterwords: 7 Spectacular Songs from Video Games

A few years ago, I was just beginning my foray into video game soundtracks. I had just finished my first year of college, and during that time I discovered that while my usual playlist made it difficult for me to focus on my work, instrumental soundtracks had the opposite effect. So I wrote a blog post ranking my favorite songs at the time.

Since then, I’ve expanded my horizons and listened to music from movies, TV series, and even some video games I never played before. Even though I’m not a musician, I find myself picking up on different themes in the soundtracks of my favorite games. I pay attention to the music, and it enhances my experience.

In light of that, I figured it was about time to revisit my list of favorites. I gave myself a few rules this time around:

  1. No music with lyrics. So even though “Paper Boats” from Transistor is one of my favorites, it won’t make the cut. You should still listen to it though.
  2. Only one song per game/franchise/composer. My playlist is much more varied now, and I want that to show through on this list.

On a side note, I did try to list composers in addition to the game’s title! If I didn’t know who composed the exact song, I just listed whoever was credited on Wikipedia.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite soundtrack songs that keep me going!

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Junior year soundtrack

Junior Year Soundtrack

Every school year, when I get to the end of the spring semester, I think, “there’s no way it could get any tougher than this,” and then somehow, it does.

That’s not meant to be a complaint – my years in college have been some of the most challenging, but also the most rewarding years of my life. Still, the rewards are easy to forget when you’re drowning in multiple 10-15 page papers and group projects while working two jobs and a maintaining some excuse for a social life. A lot of times, I find myself listening to music for encouragement, motivation, or just comfort.

As is my tradition every year, today I’m sharing a short playlist of the songs I listened to this past school year that encouraged and inspired me. As is NOT tradition, this post comes halfway through the summer. Even though it’s been a few months since the semester wrapped up, I still think this is worth sharing (and I’ll never let myself live it down if I let this school year go by without a playlist.

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21 songs for 21 years

21 Songs for 21 Years

I had another birthday yesterday (May 5), right on schedule. I spent most of the day writing papers and working on projects for school, but I got to do it while eating cake, so it was still an improved experience!

Anyways, for my past birthdays I’ve done posts with fun facts about myself, the things I want to do as I grow older, and the lessons I’ve learned throughout my life. They all sound very profound (though some are actually rather silly), so I wanted to shake it up a bit and do something that’s a little less words-focused. This is mostly because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how information and stories can be conveyed through other media like images and audio, but also because I have two days before exams begin and there is so much to be done.

So this year, as I turn 21 and become an actual adult (so I’m told), I’m sharing 21 songs that have been important to me over the years. I might write a sentence or two for each one, but for the most part, I hope they’ll speak for themselves.

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Image with raindrops on a window and text "Songs for Sad Days."

Songs for Sad Days

Let’s talk about being sad.

No one wants to be sad, but sometimes, life is too much. There are days when it feels like we’re carrying an elephant on our backs, or it’s sitting on our chest, keeping us from getting out of bed. This happens to some of us more often than others, but I’m sure all of us can think of a time when we felt weighed down by life.

Not long ago, I found myself “stuck” in one of these periods, when I felt like what I described above. There were a number of things that helped me push through, but I relied on my music a lot. Music in general has always been a comfort to me, but there are certain songs that help me the most when I’m going through a hard time. I know we all have different tastes in music, but today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite songs to listen to when times are tough.

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The Music Tag

I Love Several Songs (Music Tag)

As you probably know already, I love music (like, a lot). I’ve written about it in the past, everything from my favorite music videos to analyzing specific songs like a nerd (but I embrace it). Naturally, I never pass up an opportunity to talk about music, and so this week, I’m participating in the Music Tag! No one actually tagged me to participate in this, but I found it on Wanderer’s Pen and decided it would be fun to just chat about music for a bit. Without further ado, on to the questions!

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The Poetry of Metal: “Wake Up”

A few months ago, I started a series called “The Poetry of Metal,” where I analyze the lyrics of metal (or metalcore, if you want to be picky) songs in an effort to show that there’s more to them than just screaming. I believe that there is a lot of fantastic and even beautiful writing in this genre – you just have to look beneath the surface a bit.

The last time I did this, I covered the song “Panic Room” by Silent Planet, which was written about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This time around, I’d like to look at a song by one of my favorite bands: “Wake Up” by Wolves At The Gate, from their album VxV. You can listen to the song below, or just keep reading to see the lyrics.

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The Ultimate Summer Setlist

Summer. A time of freedom, excitement, and adventures. No one’s telling you what to do – your time is your own. You can do anything you want!

…Well, unless you’re like me and you’re working a full-time job. In that case, you still have some responsibilities.

Even if you’re working a 9-to-5 though, there’s still something to be said about the free feeling of summer. Things are a little more laid back, maybe you take a vacation or pick up a new hobby. Summer is a time for adventures and doing things you wouldn’t normally be able to.

Of course, every summer adventure needs an awesome soundtrack. Whether you’re taking a trip to the beach or playing basketball with your friends, you’ll want some background music, something that just screams “Summer.” Well my friend, you’re in luck today, because I’ve compiled a Summer Setlist, just for you!

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Maggie’s Concert Checklist

I still remember the first rock concert I ever went to (okay, that’s not saying much, but bear with me). My parents took me to WinterJam in 2012 to see Skillet, one of my favorite bands at the time. Now, WinterJam probably isn’t what you’d consider a “traditional” concert experience, but it was awesome nonetheless. Since then, I’ve gone to a lot of other concerts and festivals to see my favorite artists, and I’ve always had a wonderful time.

When I first started going to concerts (WinterJam notwithstanding), I was definitely a bit overwhelmed. While concerts are awesome, they can be confusing for people who’ve never been to one before. I’m certainly no expert, but with concert festival season coming upon us, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned from going to concerts.

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Sophomore Year Soundtrack

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you might know that music is a big part of my life, despite the fact that I’m probably tone-deaf and can’t play any instruments. I love listening to music pretty much anytime, and it’s one of the things that encourages me on a regular basis.

Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about my Freshman Year Soundtrack, where I just had a list of songs that inspired me, motivated me, or I just listened to them a lot over the course of the school year. I thought I’d do something similar again at the close of my second year of college, since my music tastes are always changing and new songs are always being released.

If you’d like, you can listen to the full soundtrack on YouTube here. Otherwise, keep reading to see my list and why I picked them!

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