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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wash U chapter.

I began to pack for college before I had even left high school— first making lists and vision boards, then clearing out my room and filling up suitcases. The entire time I felt a sense of pressure that comes with moving away from home for the first time. I wanted to do well, but I had no way to foresee everything I might need. Along with my practical concerns, I was searching for ways to bring pieces of my home with me. I printed out photos of friends and packed up a book my grandmother gave to me, her name and date scribbled on the inside cover. 

When I arrived on campus I set up my room while battling feelings of both excitement and homesickness. But after I had laid out all of my pillows, set up my photos, and called my newly “old” friends, I wondered if this would be enough to remember home. It turns out that after all of my preparations, the most important thing I brought was unplanned.

During my sophomore year of high school, I began organizing music into playlists by season. It wasn’t an original idea, but I became heavily invested in these playlists. Throughout the months I would search for new songs, and I would take wrong turns everywhere I went to listen to all of them. Every three months I would cap the playlist and add my favorite picture from that time as a cover, something that I felt summarized that period. Instead of scrolling through photos on my phone or going through Snapchat memories, I most often looked at these playlists. I kept this up through “SUMMER22”, but I wasn’t sure when I was coming to college if I wanted to continue making them. 

So now the move-in day was over, and I was exhausted from many hours of walking and talking. I started to look for a song to play, but I got caught up scrolling through each playlist. Every song title brought back a memory so sharp that I felt like hugging my phone. All of my important moments and emotions from the past years were contained within the songs. Immediately, the fear I previously had, that my memories from home would fade now that I was away, dissipated. I am sure that down the road my times from high school will not come as easily to mind, and my life here will be equally rich with experiences. But now I have a time capsule that has recorded more moments from these past years than I could ever write down. And I have already begun collecting songs for “FALL ‘22!”

Tess Vogel

Wash U '26

Hi, I'm Tess! I'm currently a Freshman at WashU interested in studying Psychology and English. I love all types of dance and music, as well as writing!