Happy & Free but Mostly Confused

Taylor Swift defined the age 22 pretty well; I do feel happy, free, and confused, all at the same time. So much has happened my senior year of college: I fell in love, I felt overwhelmed, I felt accomplished, I felt smart, I felt like I didn’t know anything, I fell out of love, I felt ecstatic, I felt the crushing pressure of having to soon find a job, I felt proud, and I felt scared. But as it turns out, the best part about entering the unknown is knowing that you aren’t alone. Every other person my age I have spoken to has said they have felt the same way.

Personally, I have been coping the only way I know: by listening to poignant lyrics that sound like artists know the inner depths of my mind. Below is a playlist of songs that define the range of emotions I have felt in the past couple months. Hopefully this can help other confused 22-year-olds cope with the unknown.

  1. “First Week” by Vera Blue 
  2. “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” by Ginger & the Glowsticks
  3. “False Confidence” by Noah Kahan
  4. “Idle Worship” by Paramore
  5. “My World” by Avril Lavigne
  6. “13” by The Sisterhood Band
  7. “Luck” by American Authors
  8. “Wanderlust” by James Bay
  9. “Lust For Life (with The Weeknd)” by Lana Del Rey
  10. “I Found Out” by The Head and the Heart
  11. “Wild Love” by James Bay
  12. “Falling For Boys” by Julia Michaels
  13. “Lady Powers” by Vera Blue
  14. “Regular Touch” by Vera Blue
  15. “Fly” by Avril Lavigne
  16. “22” by Taylor Swift

DJ Kay’s fave picks:

  • “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” by Ginger & The Glowsticks: A blend of folk and rock and roll, this catchy tune captures exactly what if feels like to be a college graduate in the throes of the career search. You know the rest of your life is about to begin, you just don’t know when.
  • “False Confidence” by Noah Kahan: Oof. The beginning of adulthood is all about faking it until you make it. Kahan gets it; the very first line he sings is “Don’t take yourself so seriously”. You do you, babes. All that matters is that you practice being yourself and make an effort to live authentically. Things will happen. Trust in the universe and be yourself.
  • “Luck” by American Authors: Not only is this song so catchy, but it feels like American Authors dream walked and found out every thought and feeling I have had as of late. The song is all about worrying that if you don’t take a traditional route, you are letting someone down. But it is also about accepting that you need to forge forward and follow your passions with a vengeance.
  • “Lust For Life (with The Weeknd)” by Lana Del Rey: Del Rey opens with a quote from the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” I am in love with this production decision, as it symbolizes a turn in Lana Del Rey’s career. Much of her older work carried dark thematic undertones, but with “Lust For Life” Del Rey has switched to speaking positive affirmations and radiating good vibes. The song is dreamy and energetic, and inspires with lyrics like “There’s no stopping now, green lights forever”. Yes, I will manifest that energy for as long as I live, and especially now, as a 22-year-old with the world before me.

You can listen to this playlist here.

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