Freshers playlist: songs for leaving home

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Freshers playlist: songs for leaving home” was written by Harry Slater, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 18th September 2013 11.20 UTC

Flying the nest for university is a big deal. Emotions run high – there’s the inevitable excitement of starting uni but also worry about leaving. Sometimes nothing quite sums up how you’re feeling like a good song.

Everybody knows why they’re going to university but knowing how to feel about such a change is trickier to grasp. It’s a mix of euphoria and quiet reflection that music and lyrics summarise best. The right playlist can help pull you through, or let you wallow.

I left for the University of East Anglia having played Islands on repeat for days. I always wanted to go, and was excited, but not as excited as everybody else, it seemed. In an attempt to preserve those first few days, I haven’t listened to their second offering, Coexist.

I got into Miike Snow around the same time and Cult Logic quickly become the soundtrack to night time train journeys between university, home and back. A Groove Armada gig in my first month put a stop to the somber reflective period. (Nearly. My Friend racked up a high, unrivalled play count.)

What are new and returning students listening to? I asked Twitter for their freshers’ week theme tunes. Here’s what they said.

Like Odissey, Alex, music editor of Impact magazine, recommends keeping your roots within reach, or at least in mind. Adding Merchandise’s Become What You Are to the list, he says:

“The title suggests the song is about growing up, which is true, although the lyrics also look at our pasts, which are as important as ever after leaving home. A suitably mellow and expansive track for those first few nights alone.”

“New-found independence will make you see sentimentality in everything”, says Hayden, culture co-editor of Concrete. He emailed quoting lyrics from Slow Club’s Two Cousins: “‘Hold on to where you’re from, it’s where your heart goes when you’re done'”, adding “it quickly became my mantra. I skipped a freshers’ event to see Slow Club live, and fell in love with Norwich by way of its rich music scene.”

While starting university marks the beginning of a life away from home, that doesn’t mean you’re forbidden from thinking about it. Rob, a long-time Ellen and the Escapades fan, found their track When The Tide Creeps In “became a kind of Yorkshire comfort blanket” for his ears, helping with the adjustment to university life.

Celebratory funk from Jasmine summons good and real vibes. Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield gets her vote. “Leaving home is a huge part of growing up, an exciting but daunting step in your life. It’s not easy at first but it’s worth it.”

I’d couple it with Movin’ On Up by Primal Scream for the title lyric alone.

Maria, who’s heading off to Manchester Met to study French and English, picks Too Little Too Late (JoJo) after gaining a place through clearing.

What’s your soundtrack to starting university? Share your track and why you picked it below, or tweet us @gdnstudents.

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About Carl William Brown

I'm Carl William Brown a holistic teacher, a webmaster, a trader, and a writer of aphorisms and essays. I have written more than 9,000 original quotations and at present I'm also working at my only novel, Fort Attack, which is also a wide and open blog project. At the moment I'm teaching English in a secondary school, but up to now I have done a lot of other things as well, both in business, educational, sport and social fields. Some years ago, in 1997 following the examples of the Rotary or the Lyons Clubs I founded the Daimon Club Organization to promote every sort of activities, creativity, art, literature, new technologies, informatics, business and marketing, public health and education and to meet new friends with these kind of interests.
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