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When I have a horrible day, I trudge back to my dorm, feet dragging on the pavement and mind dwelling on every bit of bad luck I encountered. Each step is weighed down as if I have cinderblocks tied to my ankles, but I make it back regardless. I throw myself in my room, kick off my shoes, and flop on my bed. All I want to do is escape from the world for a minute. The worst part is the knowledge that tomorrow’s another day, and there’s another after that, and many, many more after that. It feels suffocating and exhausting. 

Then, I throw on my earbuds and turn on some music. Suddenly, everything feels a little better. I realize that, yeah, there’s more days to come, and some may be bad, but others will be great. I will have amazing days and make memories I’ll cherish forever. This world we live in can be pretty crappy, but there’s good around every corner. Sometimes it’s right in your path, but sometimes it’s hidden. All it takes to find it is the strength and courage to get out there and look. 

It may seem a little far-fetched to believe that music can change my entire mindset like that, but it’s true. Music is my outlet. It’s how I destress, how I cope, and how I have fun. When I walk, I listen to music. When I drive, I listen to music. When I starfish on my bed and stare at the ceiling, I listen to music. The greatest thing about it is that there are so many genres out there, so there’s music for every mood. When I’m sluggish, some hard rock will wake me up. When I’m contemplative, some slow ballads or original movie soundtracks set the mood. When I’ve had a long day and all I want to do is take a time out from this world, blasting some country (don’t even try me, it’s a good genre) or pop will lift my spirits immensely.

If I had to describe it, I’d say my usual genre is “songs roller rinks play.” If it’s got a good beat and a high bpm, you bet I’m rocking out. I grew up on a lot of eighties music, both pop and rock, so I’m ready to dance at any moment. I love to dance around, even though I’m completely untrained and have (on several occasions) hurt myself because I thought I could pull off a move that I 100% could not. Oops.

So why do I bring this up? Why, by the time you’re reading this, the 21st of September has already come and gone! You know, the legendary date from the classic song by Earth, Wind & Fire? It’s the grooviest day of the year, but if you’ve already missed out, have no worries! Honor this magical date by dancing around to your favorite music. Cultivate that perfect Spotify playlist and share it with all your friends. Listen to some My Chemical Romance and get back in touch with your middle school years. 

Think about what music means to you. If you love it as much as I do and have already resigned yourself to the fate of severe hearing loss as an octogenarian, have a great jam session for me. If you don’t have a favorite genre, find it! There’s music out there for everyone. Maybe musicals are your thing, or video game soundtracks, or maybe you just listen to Low Rider (the George Lopez theme song) on repeat- whatever it may be, there’s something for you. I can only hope that you are able to find your comfort in life.

Living can be rough from time to time, but it’s a burden with such sweet benefits to reap. Even if you adamantly hate music, and you’re confident there’s nothing out there for you despite the wide-reaching range of music available to you, I encourage you to find your comfort. Unfortunately, we can’t escape time, but when you’re doing or experiencing something that makes you truly happy or peaceful, it makes everything a little better. By doing what you love, bad days get better and good days become great days. So have a great day.

Alexandra Gates

Elizabethtown '22

Alexandra is a sophomore biology/pre-med major at Elizabethtown College. She enjoys reading, eating dry cereal because she can't afford milk, and spending time outdoors. She is a firm believer in the inherent magic of petting dogs and drinking water every day.
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