5 songs/albums to welcome in the school year


DJ Stover, Commentary writer

As we come back from a COVID-19 infected summer and transition back into the new school year, music is more important now than ever because we need something to turn to in these trying times, especially while going back to school.

I know many students listen to music on the way to class, walking to another class, or even during class (don’t lie… you know it’s you).

As a music lover myself, I’m here to name five songs or albums to welcome into the new school year.

#5 – “We Are Young,” by fun.

At this point, I’m pretty sure we all have listened to or at least heard of this amazing and “fun” song from the golden days of 2011. As you can hear from the lyrics in the song, “We Are Young” is literally just about being young and enjoying the liveliness and freedoms of youth.

Even though we are all college students, and we’re more mature than we were back in middle or high school, we’re still young and we’ve got to live like it and enjoy being youthful while we can.

#4 – “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life),” by Green Day

From one of the best rock, rock-pop, and alternative bands of the 20th and 21st century, “Good Riddance” was released in 1997 and quickly ran up the charts. You can interpret the meaning of this song in many ways, but the interpretation that I always go with is that it’s a farewell song.

Even though Armstrong said he wrote it for his ex-girlfriend who was moving away, it can also be seen as a sweet, nostalgic song. The song is broad, so it can really be used for many occasions or purposes.

Here at WKU, I think it could be a reference to the seniors who will be going into their last year here at the Hill, saying goodbye to the place that they called home for the past 4 years.

Either way, I think it’s a good song to welcome in the school year, to look back at the last couple of years of memories, and say a farewell of sorts.

#3 – “Sour” album by Olivia Rodrigo 

After former Disney star, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single “Drivers License” this year, she took the world and the music industry by storm.

“Drivers License” was an ode to teenagers everywhere. Dealing with heartbreak, teen angst, and also, driving. But, when her debut album came out months later, no one was prepared to enter the album as it is.

From “Drivers License” to “brutal”, “Sour” gives teenagers and young adults what they want: comfort. Teens and young adults can relate to most of the songs on the album. For example, “brutal” talks about many things including parallel parking, self-doubt, being self-conscious, and many more problems we encounter in our everyday lives.

So, at number 3, I think “Sour” deserves to be an album on this list to welcome in the school year because it’s something we all can relate to as teens and young adults who are going through a time of change where we need comfort.

#2 – “Life Of The Party,” by Shawn Mendes 

When you first glance at the title of Shawn Mendes’s debut single “Life Of The Party”, it can be a bit misleading.

While that is the title, “Life Of The Party” has a much deeper meaning. If you really listen to the lyrics, the song is about being yourself and loving who you are as an individual. What “Life Of The Party” is saying is that you shouldn’t worry if you feel different from everyone else, you just need to love who you are.

I feel like this is a song most college students should listen to because it’s a song saying that you’re awesome being you, and you shouldn’t worry about what everyone says or thinks.  This would be a great song to welcome into the school year for that purpose. Plus, Shawn’s amazing voice accompanying the piano ballad will pull at your heartstrings.

#1 – “High Hopes,” by Panic! At The Disco 

For the #1 song on this list, I think “High Hopes” deserves the spot.  

The central themes behind this song are simple: optimism and hope. This song is about having high hopes for your future, no matter what you want to do. It’s about chasing after the dreams you’ve set for yourself regardless of the obstacles you face on the way to making those dreams a reality.

The message contained in the lyrics of “High Hopes” is that regardless of how hard your aspirations and goals might seem, just keep going. You’ll be glad you did at the end of the day when your dreams come true.

I think that’s an important message to hear, especially being a college student in today’s world.  Moving from a place where your dreams and aspirations may seem small and believable to a place where many other people share the same dreams and aspirations can seem intimidating, but when you keep at it and don’t give up, all the hard work will pay off in the end. Be yourself and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Have hope and be optimistic.