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When it comes to music, there are many different genres I can find a home with. Between show tunes, pop, pop-punk, rock and many others in between, it’s quite fun to be able to sit down, plug-in my headphones and have such a different experience every time I open Spotify. It has made my seemingly-endless train and bus commutes over the years between home, New York and MSU, well… not-so-endless. 

Without music, I think we can all agree, life would be exponentially more difficult. Not only does music connect with our hearts in ways nothing else can, but it’s also a direct line to those feelings we often hold so deep inside. Music can make us realize that we aren’t so alone in our daily lives; even on the days we feel more isolated than others. It is nearly impossible for me to be able to hone in on only a few tracks that I hold close, but I’m going to make an honest attempt at doing that today. Here are five songs, spread across multiple genres, that I would include in my life’s playlist!


Begin Again by The Summer Set


This song is one of my favorite songs of all-time; it’s very special to me for a multitude of reasons. While The Summer Set is no more (R.I.P.), the punk-pop band’s music lives on forever, especially for me. They were by my side through both middle and high school, and they stuck with me through college as well – even though they did break up. This song’s lyrics have especially stuck with me, as they are uplifting and reassuring that after all that life has to throw at you – the good, the bad and the ugly – everything will be fine. It’s quite a cliche and some may even call it corny, but it’s only the truth. And whenever I’m the most down, this song never fails to lift me back up. 


Wig in a Box from Hedwig and the Angry Inch


Speaking of uplifting songs, this one is next up on my list. It’s another one that will pick me up when I’m down, but not in the most conventional of ways. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rock musical that discusses themes such as self-identity, sexuality, gender and more. It is a complex and beautiful production that remains to be my #1 favorite musical ever since seeing it for the first time in 2014. In fact, I can barely imagine my life without Hedwig being a part of it at this point. This song begins on a more melancholy note – Hedwig feels down and out, unsure of what is to come in her life. Her loved ones have left her, she feels lonely and hurt. But by the end of the tune, she pulls the wig down from the shelf and dances as if no one is watching, knowing that she can get through the pain and pick herself up again. Even if we aren’t in Hedwig’s exact situation, we can all relate to this moment of suffering and sadness, and how it feels to come back from a terrible episode in our lives. 


Rollercoaster by the Jonas Brothers


This one is a biggie. The Jonas Brothers were the biggest constant in my life for years upon years, since practically elementary school – they were it for me. My favorite band whom I made so many incredible memories with, who got me through the best (and worst) moments of my life. And one day, they broke up. They can’t break up because they’re brothers, right? Wrong. They canceled their tour and went their separate ways, moving on and forcing all of us to move on with them. But something crazy happened this year. Six years after their infamous break-up – they made a comeback! While this song isn’t one of their classics, it’s a brand-new jam that will get any Jonas fan emotional, as it discusses their full-circle reunion and how they are so excited to be able to do this again. I have to admit, so am I. 


That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed) by Panic! At The Disco


Things have changed for me, and that’s okay – I feel the same. I’m on my way. These lyrics resonate with me as a senior about to finish her final semester of college, as so many things have changed throughout my life. Every year has been vastly different. My interests have shifted and, as a matter of fact, so have my dreams. And sometimes I would stop myself and ask why. I would tell myself that I need to have one dream and stick with it – but that is genuinely unrealistic. And when listening to this tune (which also happens to be by another one of my all-time favorite bands), I can remember that it’s okay. I’m on my way, and someday I’ll get there – or I won’t. Either way, the journey and the ever-changing waves of life are so worth it.


There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow from Disney’s Carousel of Progress


Of course I’m going to end this list with a Disney song, otherwise it just wouldn’t be a playlist by me. This song has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it has always reminded me that no matter how difficult things may get, there’s always a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day. I feel as if this has been the theme of this entire playlist, and maybe it has been, but for good reason. There were many Disney songs I had to choose from, of course, but this one sticks with me every single day. My mom and I even got matching tattoos of it! Many would say that the tune is from a more “boring” attraction from Disney, but I disagree wholeheartedly, as the Carousel of Progress is such a classic for my family and I. And I truly can’t wait to spread pixie dust and Disney magic working at Disneyland after graduation in Anaheim, California. Sometimes a great big beautiful tomorrow really is just a dream away. 


Thank you so much for joining me on the journey of my life’s playlist! This would only be the beginning, as there are so many more songs where that came from. Music is a constant cycle and there will always be new songs to add to this playlist. I can’t wait to see what comes out and new experiences I have to go along with them in the future! 

Katie Coryell is a twenty-two year old Montclair State University senior studying Communication & Media. In spring of 2020, she will be moving to Anaheim, California to participate in the Disneyland College Program. She was recently the summer 2019 Senior Marketing Coordinator at Columbia University's Internship in Building Community, as well as the spring 2018 Marketing Intern at Samuel French. She is currently a contributing writer and social media correspondent for the Montclair chapter of Her Campus, and in her free time, you can catch her watching YouTube videos, playing her Nintendo Switch or listening to showtunes.
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