Photos by: Jenn Noga
Kent State University students have a wide range of interests, which include an array of music and pop culture. We went out to find what freshman consider to be their favorite merch item is and why it’s so special to them.
Jasmine is a big Spider-Man fan, and has the Funko dolls to prove it. She got the collector’s items about a month ago, including Peter Parker in normal clothes and another with the Avenger in his homemade Spider-Man costume (pictured). She loves Spider-Man because “it shows you can be normal and become different in a split second and use [your differences] to help people.” Jasmine hopes to continue expanding her Funko doll collection, which also includes Newt and Picket from Fantastic Beasts.
Wage War is a metalcore band that Seth has been listening to for around nine months. He enjoys their positive messages and shares similar views with them — “learning from mistakes and growing as a person and letting go of whatever it is that bothered us to begin with,” Seth says. His favorite Wage War song is “Blueprints.”
The Maine, an alternative rock group, has been Maria’s favorite band in the world since she discovered them when she was eight. “Everyone can relate to one of their songs,” Maria says. Her favorite song is “Forever Halloween,” which is ironic considering her favorite merch symbolizes the “Forever Halloween” album cover faces. Though Maria has a lot of The Maine merch, this is her favorite because of how she got it. Her now-boyfriend went to Warped Tour and brought her back the shirt as a surprise because he knew it was Maria’s favorite band.
Olivia’s favorite band is The 1975, who she discovered, forgot about and rediscovered all in the span of three years. She loves how their music is so original and alternative, especially their first, self-titled album. “I went to Europe and listened to the album when I was there so it really reminds me of when I spent time in Paris,” Olivia says.
Even though the Grateful Dead was a band from 1965 to 1995, people like Dillon are still discovering and enjoying their music. They are known for their unique style combining many genres of music, including rock, psychedelia, country, blues and more. Dillon started listening to the Grateful Dead last summer. “My favorite song by them is probably ‘Casey Jones’ because that was the first song I ever heard by them so it [had] sentimental value,” Dillon says.