The Class of 2024 is embarking on an unprecedented freshman year. Some are at home, some are isolated on campus living in single dorms, and most are taking all virtual classes.
Given the current circumstances, it is difficult to have the “traditional” college experience. These students have fallen victim to COVID-19 over the last 8 months, from proms being cancelled and graduation ceremonies being altered to prioritize social distancing to this year’s notorious Week of Welcome, what most Cal Poly freshmen dream of, being moved solely online.
However, one of the few things that has stayed relatively the same and brought comfort and hope to many during these abnormal times is music.
When asked what music is best to study to and what song they hope will encapsulate their upcoming freshman year, many students had their own opinions on what would make their playlist.
Most students like listening to music that won’t distract them when they are studying, such as songs without too many words or that won’t cause them to think too much about what they are listening to. Easy and soothing tracks are the go-to.
Liam Jefferson, a Business freshman, likes to listen to more relaxed songs he already knows he likes, such as “Vienna” by Billy Joel and “Rollin” by Calvin Harris.
“When I study, I listen to calmer, chiller music and songs I already know pretty well so I don’t have to focus on getting to know it as much,” said Jefferson.
Meanwhile, Vivian Knudsen a Mechanical Engineering freshman prefers “Lofi chill study beats” when doing schoolwork.
“I don’t like words when I’m trying to write words but it’s a little more energetic,” Knudsen said.
Nick Sandoval, Aerospace Engineering freshman, is in a similar “chill” strain with his study selections, considering he enjoys listening to jazz.
“I specifically try to listen to music without words,” said Sandoval. “That’s already sort of my taste … I find if there are words, I focus on those rather than my work.”
Brooke Kinion is a Chemistry freshman that listens to mainly pop tracks when she’s hitting the books. Two songs she likes to listen to while studying are “Brazil” by Declan Mckenna and “House with No Mirrors” by Sasha Sloan.
“It honestly depends, sometimes it hypes me up and motivates me to finish, and other times it’s just really relaxing and gets me focused ” she said.
Kinion isn’t alone, though in wanting to be “hyped up” during these times. However, when asked, most freshmen choose those upbeat tracks when they are creating a playlist to embody what they wanted their freshman year to be.
Jefferson selected “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons. He said it’s the, “energy and vibe I’m looking for at Cal Poly. It’s a very energetic song that makes me feel happy and hopeful for the future”
Natasha Malinovsky, an English freshman claims to have had a long time obsession with the boyband One Direction. She has been a fan for a very long time and finds them to be motivating. She chose the One Direction song, “Up All Night”, to sum up her expectations for freshman year.
“A lot of their songs are upbeat and good for dancing so I’m looking forward to listening to those songs with a bunch of people again when the pandemic is over,” said Malinovsky.
The song Kinion chose that she anticipates will match her energy for this year is “California Gurls” by Katy Perry.
“That’s probably partially because I’m from Oregon and, I know it’s cliche, but I’ve wanted to move to California for as long as I can remember. It feels like I’ve finally made it. Also it’s just a really upbeat and fun song and I think that’s how this year will be,” said Kinion.
Sandoval is looking for a chiller freshman year given the state of affairs. The songs he hopes will concretize this upcoming year are “Southside” by Triathlon and “Simple Season” by Hippocampus.
Sandoval describes Simple Season as “calm, it’s got a vibe but it’s also hopeful.”
Hope seems to be a big trend when trying to keep a positive outlook for this year. A lot is unknown but the Class of 2024 is taking what they have and making the most of it. In a world of isolation and unknown music can be a great escape.