Soundtracking Your Year

One of my favorite things in High School was to make a playlist every single year according to what grade I was in. I am a huge fan of music, so I thought it would be interesting to document music throughout my year. While the idea is very simplistic, sometimes it can act like a time capsule to look back on. Playlist-making is a great way to see what songs you like from year to year. Here are some general ideas to start your playlist!

You Know My Name (Look up the Song)

A good playlist starts with a good name. I usually had my playlists each year named based on songs. Like Bruce Springsteen’s Growin’ Up or Alice Cooper’s Trash. Pick a good playlist name based on how you think the year is going to go. My format was always;

[Year of High School] – Song Title

My playlist this year is titled, College Freshman (A New Career In A New Town)

Once you have your title, you’re ready to move onto the real content of the playlist!

The Songs Remain The Same

Now it’s time to add your songs. This doesn’t have to be based on a specific theme (unless you want it to be). I just add songs that I enjoy here and there onto my playlist. Want to add that song you heard on campus? Do it. Want to add that midterm crunch song? Go ahead. Want to make an Illini-themed section? Why not? Want to add the song from your recent breakup? Probably not a good choice. But there are no rules to adding songs to your playlists. You can even include duplicates from past years, (which I am guilty of). Just add what you love and everything will fall into place. I tend to see from year to year, almost 25-50% of my playlists are things I have listened to previous years.

The End

You’ve finally done it. You’ve made your playlist, its the end of the semester, or the end of the year, now what? You add one last song that says “farewell” to the current school year. You can add one with emotional value, happy vibes, or even nostalgic vibes. The ending song is the most important one in the playlist. Now all you have to do is sit back for the summer and plan for the next one in the fall!


Class of 2025
Hello! I'm a Political Science major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and I grew up in Chicago Heights, IL. I love all things international, political, and vintage. I am also an Illinois Promise scholar. As a college applicant, it can be tough to navigate the resources of the college process. But I hope my blogs make it much easier to choose UIUC!

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