According to the 2013 National College Health Assessment, about one-third of college students in the United States struggled from depression within the first twelve months, and just about 50 percent of those students also underwent anxiety (Novotney, 2014). With every class, clubs, organizations and friends, there is so much to keep track of and prioritize to ensure a fulfilling college experience.
Because counseling centers have working hours, it’s crucial to find other ways to let go of the stress endured day-in and day-out. One way to do so is through music. Listening to your favorite song could give you the boost of energy needed to get to an early morning lecture, or even guide you through an uplifting mood in general. I spoke with Tyrod Branch, a college freshman, about how he uses music to get through the challenges of his first year away from home.
How does music play a role in your life?
“Music keeps me sane, to be honest with you. It keeps me grounded. It’s therapeutic, whether I’m writing, listening, or making it.”
Tyrod writes music and posts his songs on various platforms in hopes to make it big in the music industry. You can check out his SoundCloud by clicking here.
How does music play a role in your life, now that you’re in college?
“I listen to it a lot. I feel like I have a lot more time to listen to it. I listen to it on the way to class, I listen to it on the way to sleep. You know what I’m sayin’.”
How did you know music was what you wanted to pursue?
“I feel like a part of me has always known but a part of me has had to recognize it because growing up in this world, the typical black male is supposed to get a job after high school/college. I realized it when I started making music. When I said I can write and sing a song that I made myself, at that point I knew I just wanted to make music and sing for the rest of my life.”
What tips do you have for people who want to pursue a dream?
“Know what you want and go for it, be passionate and be dedicated always, and never let anyone tell you you can’t do something.”
What artists would you like to recommend to a friend who needs to calm down before a test or needs to hype themselves up for a full night of studying?
“Beyoncé! She is the artist for everything, don’t get it twisted. Beyoncé has the bops when she wants to hype you up, she has the slower songs for when you want to take a break and vibe out, she has the power songs that help you power through. Everything you need is in her discography.”
The moral of the story is, take your mental health seriously and find healthy ways, with one being music, to minimize stress in your busy life.
Novotney, Amy. “Students Under Pressure.” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, 14 “Sept. 2014, www.apa.org/monitor/2014/09/cover-pressure.aspx.