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.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Between two different trips, finishing the academic year, and beginning my summer job, I’ve missed not one, but TWO Month in Review posts! I know, I know, I’m the worst. It’s okay, you can say it.
But as atonement for my wrongs, today I bring you a MIR double-header, covering May and June of 2019. That’s twice the stuff to go through, so I’ll do my best just to hit the highlights and keep it brief. But if you missed any of my other blog posts from the past two months, check those out first:
Happy May! This is arguably the best month of the year (not that I’m biased or anything… it is my birthday month after all), but April was also a great month! I’m excited to share just a little bit about what I did this month, but first, in case you missed anything I wrote about…
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!
Let me start off this post with a note to my parents: No, I didn’t go get a tattoo without telling you.
I’m fascinated by tattoos, but I don’t think I would ever actually get one. Nothing against tattoos at all – it’s just that for someone like me, who has trouble putting stickers on her laptop without thinking it over for approximately 3 years, the idea of getting something permanently inked into my skin is kinda terrifying. I have so much respect for people who have the commitment to get tattoos, but I’ll stick with wristbands and pins, thanks.
Still, sometimes I wonder if I absolutely had to get a tattoo, what would I get? What’s something that’s so important to me that I would want it with me for the rest of my life? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’ve decided to compile it in a “tattoo wishlist” – one I’ll never act on, but a wishlist nonetheless.
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.
In this series, I’ve already covered writing lessons from books, video games, and even a musical. As you can probably tell, I like to draw from some unconventional sources, because I believe that anything can teach us about writing, from books to movies to music to video games. They all tell stories, just in different ways.
Wolves At The Gate (WATG) is a hardcore band from Cedarville, Ohio. I first saw them when they opened for RED a few years ago, and I saw them more recently at Uprise Fest last year. Though I love many hardcore bands, there are few that I’ve really connected with like WATG, and they’ve become one of my favorites. Not only does their music sound amazing, but the lyrics and themes are so artfully put together, and so today, I’d like to talk about what writing lessons we can learn from their music.
Note: I know many in my audience aren’t fans of hardcore music, so I’ll be providing links to lyrics and to the songs themselves. Feel free to listen to them, but you won’t be missing out on the point of the post if you would rather just read the lyrics.
First year of college? DONE. Now I only have three more to go…
Anyway, this past year I listened to a lot of music. I mean, I don’t have over 500 songs on my phone for nothing! Plus, I think music can often provide motivation, encouragement, and support all through life, and it expresses things that sometimes can’t be described in just words.
This week, I wanted to share a handful of songs that I’m calling my Freshman Year Soundtrack. Although I listened to much more than this list, these are the songs that I think most describe my year and are also some of the songs that most encouraged me all through the school year. You can listen to the whole playlist on Spotify, but if you want to hear my explanations of the songs, keep reading!