Playlist: Through the Years

Written by on March 12, 2017

Image courtesy of the Kent State College of Nursing

Over the next two months, graduating seniors (myself included) will be experiencing the end of many things as we know it. Graduation is imminent, and the real world is looming. Our classmates will soon be jumpstarting their careers, moving in with their significant others, or trekking across the country.

Music is an incredible time capsule that has the ability to instantly transport you back to the exact moment you listened to a certain song and remind you how you felt in that pivotal moment.

Embark on a journey through the years, and enjoy this playlist of the songs that have grown up with us early 20-somethings:

1. Oops! I Did it Again – Britney Spears (2000)

Anyone who says they never jammed to the Princess of Pop at least once during their childhood is lying. Britney was an unescapable force of nature in the early 2000’s, even if you only heard her for 1 minute at a time through your HitClips.

2. Hey Baby – No Doubt (2001)

This bop is the stuff that talent show dance routine dreams are made of. Furthermore, we can always thank Gwen Stefani for tricking us into thinking that knee-high converse was a good look.

3. Holiday – Green Day (2004)

To be honest, as a fifth-grader I was intrigued by Green Day because they were the first band I was allowed to listen to that used expletives in their lyrics. Once the American Idiot album was popped into my portable CD player and cranked up loud enough so everyone within a three-seat radius on the school bus could hear what I was listening to, I was an unstoppable badass.

4. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson (2004)

This song was the go-to jam once you realized that your crush didn’t ask you to play kickball at recess because he liked you and appreciated the shrinky dinks you so artfully crafted for him, but because he liked your best friend. 2004 was a simpler time where American Idol was still a cultural phenomenon, pulling upwards of 30 million views and staking its claim as the most watched show on the Fox network.

5. Crank That (Soulja Boy) – Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em (2007)

Now THIS was a song that could get the boys and girls to forget that imaginary line dividing the gym during a school dance and mingle. The dance moves that flowed over the steel drum beats in this song were standard knowledge.

6. Check Yes Juliet – We The Kings (2007)

This single from the band’s debut album contained the most relatable lyrics when it came to your forbidden middle school relationship. These very words probably became the elegant doodles on the front of your binder, the product of a successful study hall period.

7. Don’t Trust Me – 3OH!3 (2008)

The lyrics to this gold-certified single could commonly be found in expertly-crafted AIM away messages. Some food for thought: studies conducted at McGill University have hypothesized that 14 is the “magic age” for developing musical taste, and conclude that the music we listen to at this age is the music we will be most profoundly attached to for the rest of our lives. For all of our sakes, let’s hope they’re wrong.

8. Fifteen – Taylor Swift (2009)

Was there any song that “got you” like this song did as a freshman in high school? Although, unlike Swift in this double platinum single, I didn’t have to worry about senior boys breaking my heart because they didn’t profess their love for me in the first place.

9. Tik Tok – Ke$ha (2010)

There wasn’t a song that could make you dance harder than this one at the homecoming after-party in your best friend’s basement (from which you were picked up promptly at 11pm by your older sister, since you only had your temporary license).

10. We Are Young – Fun ft. Janelle Monae (2012)

The essential track that encapsulated the glory of youth, which included midnight Taco Bell runs the summer after graduating high school, and not really much else.

11. We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus (2013)

New Miley, new you. College had just begun, and the confines of living with your parents had been broken and traded in for one small, stifling hot room in Eastway Hall.

12. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (2014)

This was when the sophomore slump began. After several major and roommate changes, you really needed a song like this to ugly cry and sing along with. Thanks to Ed, you could fantasize about a day “when your legs don’t work like they used to before” because you grew old with the love of your life, rather than because you walked up 12 flights of stairs during your 14-hour cram session at the library.

13. Trap Queen – Fetty Wap (2015)

This Grammy-nominated single was most likely pulsing through the speakers at every house party you attended that year, although you were probably too busy helping your roommate get to the bathroom to bust any moves on the dance floor.

14. Sorry – Beyonce (2016)

Now on the cusp of being a senior in college, you had finally settled into your major, no longer had the convenience of a meal plan (but Jump! was booted out of the student center, so there was no point anyways, right?), and were a proud tenant of a slightly dingy apartment. You may have been constantly one 11:59 pm deadline away from a mental breakdown, but by God, you were going to get that diploma. There was nothing like this single off of the revolutionary Lemonade album to reassure you that you are a queen, and you can do this. Boy, bye.

15. Sleep on the Floor – The Lumineers (2016)

This brings us to present day. The number of days until graduation is roughly the same as the duration of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’ marriage, so it’s getting down to the wire. It’s a bittersweet time. There will soon be no more torturous early morning trips through the Risman Plaza wind tunnel, but the end of your time at Kent State also means that you won’t be living with or near all of your closest friends. College may not be the best four years of your life like everyone tells you, but it is are definitely worth it. Live it up and study hard for the next two months, but after that, your next adventure awaits. Don’t forget to turn on the radio.

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