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Turning my Top Spotify Songs of 2021 Into a Coming-of-Age Movie

If 2021 was a movie based on my most played songs on Spotify, this would be it. After looking at my Spotify’s #SpotifyWrapped, my top artists, songs, and podcasts just scream a coming-of-age rom-com movie. As I deep dive into my top songs of this year, why not make a not-so fictional movie out of it? It’s scary how semi-accurate these songs compare to my existential love life. 

Go figures, I’m a hopeless romantic with a wistful and focused music aura. 


“Drugs & The Internet” by Lauv 

When I saw this on my list of most played songs of 2021, it seemed very timely and accurate that this song would be the first thing that plays in the opening scene of this movie. Imagine, you’re jamming out to this song in your room with your best and only friend at this point, X, after spending half the year at home because senior year of high school was online and social outings turned into endless scrolling on social media. 

And now with summer coming to an end, thus starts your first year of college on campus. What could possibly be worse: your depleted social skills or starting your soon to be long list of student loans?  


“Brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo 

You finally make it through the first month of college and it’s brutal. College is definitely kicking butt and everyone around you dresses too nicely for a bi-weekly Women’s and Gender Studies lecture class. But you’ve found a tight group of friends from your major and all is well. 

Until, your creative writing professor roasts you in the footnotes of your five page essay, while everyone around you is literally Shakespeare, and the parties that you’ve been to ― in the short span of your college life (and yes, somehow people are still having parties though it’s pretty iffy right now because of the pandemic) you need to get away. So, you situate yourself in the back corner of a library on campus, FaceTiming your friend, X, while listening to this song as you catch up on Biology notes.

But then, you meet Y, who happens to also be in your Biology class and you both click.  


“We Haven’t Looked At Our Phones” by Jake Scott

After countless study sessions with Y, and romanticizing Y to your roommates, you and your friends decide that it’s time to go out on a quadruple date. But of course, you have to invite X to come because you’re too nervous to go with your new friends, their dates, and Y. 

Thus, commences the first date montage of the movie. You all go out to eat, dance, go skating, and to do other crazy and immature things because by now midterms are the least of your worries. Towards the end of the night, everyone’s tired and taking pictures on their phone to remember the night by, except you and X, who are delusionally laughing at everything each other says.   


“That way” by Tate McRae, Jeremy Zucker

With school coming to an end and finals right around the corner, everyone is on edge about grades and end-of-the year plans. On top of this it doesn’t help that you’ve been asked out by Y, all the while, you’re concerned that you accidentally friend-zoned X and might actually have feelings for them and not Y.    


“Plot Twist” by NIKI

To close this movie, one of my favorite top songs of 2021 is playing. It’s the last day of finals week and everyone is moving out for the holidays. You say goodbye to your friends (Y included) and go to pick up X from their college campus a town over. You’re excited to see X and the first thing you do when you see them is yell “I like you!” And the rest is history. 

Tell me that this fictional plot doesn’t scream almost every teen movie that has been made already. But overall, this was so much fun to make and to share my favorite songs to jam out to before the year ends!

Aubrey is a second-year student majoring in Public Health and pursuing a minor in Biology at UH Manoa. Being born and raised on the island of Maui, Hawaii, she aspires to help others, focusing on community outreach and underrepresented minority health. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, journaling, and going on picnics/watching films with family and friends.
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