The Freshman Fifteen, Part VI

October 30, 2016: I Ran Out of Things to Talk About So Let’s Talk About Music

One of my favorite things about getting to know my new college friends and them getting to know me is sharing music tastes. It’s a way to connect with people, to expand your musical horizons, and to brag about my seasonal playlists that I spend a lot of time and energy cultivating.

Since I lowkey ran out of things to talk about, this Freshman Fifteen is dedicated to sharing some of my fall 2016 playlist with y’all!

  • “Where You Wanna Go” (feat. Emily Hearn) by Graham Colton. I’ve been a huge Emily Hearn fan for a while (Remember that one time I met her?), so when my sister told me she was featured on this new song, I was pumped, and it did not disappoint. “Where You Wanna Go” is just the right mix of relaxed and driving, chill and upbeat. The male and female vocals blend together and complement one another really nicely. The lyrics are also really fun, two people sticking together and adventuring to new places. It’s a good song in general, but especially for a nice afternoon drive in the fall weather Auburn hasn’t gotten yet. *upside down smiley face* *how is Auburn so hot still*
  • “Monsters Talk” (feat. Bear Rinehart) by John Mark McMillan. Okay, this song is a JAM. The instrumentation, especially the intro, is really cool. Bear Rinehart, the lead singer of NEEDTOBREATHE, and John Mark McMillan’s vocals both fit the song and each other perfectly. I’m not surprised that I love this song so much, because John Mark McMillan is generally amazing, so if you like it, you should also check out “Visceral” and “Wilderlove,” my other faves of his.
  • Jon Foreman. Jon Foreman is the lead singer of Switchfoot, but he has a really different sound as a solo artist. This stuff has a much more chill, acoustic, singer-songwriter vibe, which makes him a great artist to unwind to at the end of a long day or study to when I need to avoid stress. His voice is unique, and his lyrics are solid. My faves are “You Alone,” “Inheritance,” and “Run Free.”
  • Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. As I wait not so patiently for their latest album to drop on Spotify, I’ve been listening to some of this married duo’s older stuff. Their worship is authentic, beautiful, and inspiring. Both of their voices slay, especially together, and the instrumentation really fits the purpose of each individual song. I recommend “On the Shores” and “Explode My Soul”; you can also check out the songs they have with Bethel Music.
  • Judah & the Lion. Judah & the Lion is the first college concert I went to, so they’ll always be a special band to me now. They were incredible and exciting live, and their studio stuff is awesome, too. Best of all, it takes me back to the first Friday of college, the first night I ate dinner here (lol I had been eating snacks in my dorm every night), and the first time I met two of my friends. After the concert, I was sure to add “Water,” “Mason-Dixon Line,” “Back’s Against the Wall,” and “Our Love” to my playlist.
  • “Come Thou Fount” by Kings Kaleidoscope. Growing up in a less traditional church, I wasn’t super familiar with this song, but coming to Auburn and checking out several churches and on-campus ministries, it started popping up everywhere. This version has a rockstar arrangement that’s really unique. The vocals are really consistent and pleasing, and it builds really nicely. Y’all know I love a good build.
  • Mat Kearney. Shoosh yeah, I’ve been listening to Mat Kearney a lot. (I also got my roommate started on him a couple days ago, so #win.) His newer stuff is catchy and vibrant, his older stuff is classic and comfortable, and all of it is fantastic. I love way too many of his songs to recommend them all, but if I had to pick, my favorites are “Billion,” “Ghost,” “The Conversation,” “Coming Home (Oregon),” and “Head or Your Heart.”
  • “Wild World” by Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors. Simple. Honest. Relevant. Beautiful. S’good.
  • Where the Light Shines Through by Switchfoot. This album is real nice. The lyrics are deep, meaningful, and inspirational. The rock vibe alternates between laid back and exciting. And of course, Jon Foreman’s voice adapts seamlessly from lots of acoustic guitar to lots of electric. My faves off this album are “Where the Light Shines Through,” “I Won’t Let You Go,” and “If the House Burns Down Tonight.”

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy these snappy little tunes!

(“The Freshman Fifteen” is a year-long blogging project posting every fifteen days of my freshman year of college. Follow along for life updates, deep thoughts, and everything in between.)

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The Freshman Fifteen, Part V

October 15, 2016: I’m on a Break!

This weekend is my fall break, and that means I’m spending some much-needed time home with family and friends. As I enjoy my first break since school started back in August, I’m reflecting on the first half of first semester. It’s certainly been a wild ride already. Since my brain is about 89% lists, I present to you…

9 things that helped get me through the first 9 weeks of college:
  1. FaceTime. I spend a lot of evenings on FaceTime with my family and friends from home. It picks me up when I’m down, and it’s refreshing to talk to people who’ve known you for longer than nine weeks, especially after a bad day.
  2. Our BRITA filter. I didn’t realize how much I relied on our BRITA filter pitcher, which is the perfect size for our mini-fridge, until I was an idiot and precariously perched it on the edge of the sink and it fell and the bottom of the pitcher cracked really badly. We were BRITA-less for a while, but fortunately, my aunt and uncle took me shopping when they were in town last weekend and bought me a new one. After a long, hot walk up The Hill, nothing’s quite as refreshing as a cold drink of water from our wonderful BRITA filter.
  3. Scheduled self-care time. In the past few weeks, I’ve started scheduling three half-hour chunks per week to read Harry Potter, and let me tell you, it is glorious. I wrote a little bit about this in one of my previous posts, but in college, I’m committed to not being “the busy friend” again. Part of that is learning to say no to good things that aren’t good for me, but another part is training myself to rest. I refuse to apologize for the thirty minutes at the end of the day that I spend reading Harry Potter, because it fuels me, giving me the energy and emotional capacity to invest in my new friendships and keep going strong with my schoolwork. I highly, highly recommend scheduled self-care time for every person (but especially introverts) in every season of life (but especially busy ones), because it is truly good for the soul.
  4. Friends with cars. I’m typing this on my couch at home because a sweet friend gave me a ride home to Atlanta yesterday. My suitemates and I hit up Walmart a few weeks ago to buy Fruit Loops and some veggies. My roommate, suitemates, and other friends often let me borrow their cars or offer to drive me when I really need a ride. Not having a car has certainly been difficult, but the kind, generous, vehicle-owning people around me really help.
  5. My color-coded, custom-made planner. I’m so picky about planners that I couldn’t find one I liked enough, so I straight up made my own. It’s helped me stayed organized with schoolwork and other time commitments (my color coding system works wonders), kept me reading (I have a section to write what book I’m reading each week), and encouraged me to think positive (I have a place to make a list of good things that happen every week).
  6. Quiet time. The adjustment to college has been difficult, but I’m learning and growing so much in my faith because of that. Quiet time sets me up for the rest of the day, teaches me God’s truth, helps me trust Him, and shapes me into who He made me to be.
  7. Football games. SEC football in the student section is a heck of a fun time. Auburn’s exciting victory over LSU was one of the highlights of my year so far for sure.
  8. Keeping my options open. I went into freshman year an English Literature major, but I knew that I wasn’t 100% set on it, and I didn’t know what minor I wanted to get. Nine weeks later, I still feel the same. Though the uncertainty is scary at times, it’s also exciting to have a world of opportunities right at my fingertips. I love looking at all the classes I’d get to take in the Professional and Public Writing major and thinking about how much I could help people with a minor in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. Allowing myself to explore what’s out there has made freshman year both introspective and exciting.
  9. Not boys. The advice I received to not date in the first six months of college was some clutch advice. There’s so much going on, and it’s freeing to make new guy friends and know that they’re just new guy friends and nothing more. Football games are fun enough without dates, anyway.

That’s just a little recap of how I’ve been doing and what’s been on my mind lately! The first nine weeks of college have had ups and downs, but I really do believe in Auburn and love it. Thanks for reading with your two eyes these nine things in part five of the Freshman Fifteen!

(“The Freshman Fifteen” is a year-long blogging project posting every fifteen days of my freshman year of college. Follow along for life updates, deep thoughts, and everything in between.)