I’ve heard that our sense of smell has the power to bring up certain memories: your favorite perfume, for example, may bring back memories of a certain first date. While this certainly holds true, another one of my senses possesses the unique ability to pull me back into the past: my hearing. When I play a particular song that I was obsessed with during a critical point in my life, I’m instantly transported back to those days and the emotions I was feeling. With all of this weighing down my mind (along with random nutrition facts and chemistry tidbits that I’ve been dutifully studying for this week), I decided the best way to sum up my very first year of college was a list I’ve comprised of a few of my favorite albums this year (I even included a link to my favorite song from each one!).
- XX– the XX
- No Color– The Dodos
- The Age of Adz– Sufjan Stevens
- The Orchard– Ra Ra Riot
- Champ– Tokyo Police Club
…I could keep going. If I had to choose my absolute favorite song from an album off of this list, it would probably be “Keep It Quiet” by Ra Ra Riot. This song helped me get through the difficult transitions this year, and let’s face it, the whole transition into college was a lot more difficult for me than I thought it would be. I thought I was ready to leave home! What I didn’t think, however, was that I would change as significantly as I have. I know I’m getting all cliché here, but it’s the truth.
In my honors rhetoric class this semester, we studied fan cultures. One of the essays we read was about textual poaching—the idea that fans will take a work and turn it into something they can relate to. So forgive me as I attempt to textual poach Ra Ra Riot’s lyrics here:
“How can I want to stay around…?”
My interpretation of this line: I’ve changed a lot this year. And while it makes me feel uncertain in some ways, I know there’s no turning back to who I was in high school and the life I had back then. When I go back home for a few months, surrounded by all of the memories of who I was, how could I possibly want to go back to that; to stay who I was? Does that make sense? Maybe not to you, but for me, this song and this line have soothed me in the times I’ve felt most afraid of change, gently nudging me on to do bigger and better things than I did as a high school kid in a small town.
While I’m ready to go home for the summer just because I’m through with this homework business, I’m already excited for next semester and what other changes are in store for me.
Have a great break, everyone!