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The Spotify code for Lobo editor's Zara Roy and Madeline Pukite's back to school slay-list. Photo courtesy of Spotify.

PLAYLIST: Back to school slay-list

We’ve all been going through changes lately, but the transition to university can be a particularly frightening and singular challenge for many. Luckily, the struggle of change is a topic often obsessed over by many great artists. Editors from the Daily Lobo have come together to make a playlist to get you through both foul and fair weather as you move into your first year of college.

We Are Going To Be Friends - Jack Johnson

Going away to college as an 18-year-old can be intimidating, similar to how the first day of kindergarten felt when you were a scared 5-year-old with a backpack full of markers in a classroom full of kids that were a little bit louder and a little bit weirder than your siblings at home.

Listening to Jack Johnson's “We Are Going To Be Friends” can put you back in the mindset of your younger self: completely unsure but completely confident it will all work out. Like Gabriella tells Troy in “High School Musical,” in kindergarten “you didn't have to be anything but yourself.” Keep that in mind as you begin your next chapter of school.

Changes - Langhorne Slim and The Law

College inevitably brings with it a multitude of changes. Many are living on their own for the first time and must quickly develop time management and conflict resolution skills. You soon realize high school did little to prepare you for handling arguments between roommates or dealing with homesickness. It can also be a time of self-reflection, as you are no longer forced to live in your parent's world, which can bring about a plethora of changes in and of itself.

Langhorne Slim and The Law’s “Changes” centers around processing change and accepting the turbulence that comes with it. Giving yourself the space to be scared and process emotions while also remembering “there’s many reasons we are what we’ve become” is essential.

I Like Giants - Kimya Dawson

While the entirety of Kimya Dawson's album “Remember That I Love You” is grounding in nature, "I Like Giants” is particularly so because it begs you to remember to take a step back and look at the bigger picture instead of being consumed by all of the things that cause you anxiety. This is something that is especially important to remember as you begin the process of scheduling classes, packing up and embarking on your college experience. 

After Hours - The Velvet Underground

While many preach the importance of facing changes in your life head-on, and to some extent this is indeed necessary, I think we all know that sometimes escaping into your own inner world is often much more appealing in these times.

The classic Velvet Underground track from their 1969 self-titled album perfectly encapsulates this desire to shut one’s self out from the excessive stimulation and hubbub of the world in favor of simply “closing the door” and shutting out all of your troubles. This delightful, jaunty tune with almost childlike vocals from drummer Moe Tucker will take you back to simpler times and leave you longing for another glimmer of youthful innocence.

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Landslide - Fleetwood Mac

What more is there to say about “Landslide” that hasn’t already been said — it’s reputation precedes it. One of the great tearjerkers of the 20th century, this Fleetwood Mac song, with lyrics and vocals from the inimitable Stevie Nicks, is lush with longing and a practically universal bittersweet recollection of one’s own past. This is the perfect song for melodramatically gazing out of a window after your parents drop you off at your dorm this coming fall.

I Don’t Know - Beastie Boys and Miho Hatori

A hidden, uncharacteristically lovely gem in the Beastie Boys catalog, “I Don’t Know” is a ballad that excels in its simplicity. Lyrically, this song is about feeling lost: a common theme in my own life as I’ve worked my way through college and a struggle for many others, to be sure. There is just something so soothing about the simple, light instrumentation, the catchy melodic line and the simple resignation of this piece. In a world caught in an endless cycle of work in which we are under constant pressure to have every next step planned out, sometimes one must let out a simple, “I don’t know. Who does know?”

As you spend the summer running through checklists of  everything you need for college, you may feel as though you have forgotten something. While giving your friends and family teary-eyed hugs and goodbyes, completely unsure of what the future holds for you, take a moment to ground yourself and listen to some music that’ll comfort you and remind you that you're not going through this alone.

Madeline Pukite is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at or on Twitter @maddogpukite

Zara Roy is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle

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