Essentials playlists for college students

By Jamie O'Toole l Contributor

With finals approaching, focusing on multiple research papers and a semester’s worth of material can become an agonizing task; however, music can make it a little more tolerable, and almost enjoyable.  

Uplifting music helps alleviate boredom. Oftentimes dance parties in the ear can create distraction and make someone want to get up and jam instead of grinding on with homework. Therefore, steady and consistent songs that still boost energy are essential. 

Here are some suggestions:


  • “Walk Like a Badass” Spotify Playlist 

  • “Out of My League” by Fitz and the Tantrums

  • “Everything is Good Now” by Foreign Air

  • “Cringe” by Matt Maeson 

  • “I’m Gonna Be” by Post Malone

  • “Socks” by Dominic Fike

When the books are put away and knowledge is stored, a good way to celebrate a good grade or blow off stress is hanging out with friends at either a kickback or party.

While rap may not be everyone’s go to, it’s undeniably a great genre to not only dance to, and sing along with loudly, but a good bass or beat drop will have everyone out of their seats. 

Here are some rap essentials for get-togethers, shindigs or any other occasion:

  • “HBS” by Lil Keed

  • “Lalala” by Y2K, bbno$

  • “Panini” by Lil Nas X

  • “Blessed Now” by Jay Prince 

  • “No Role Modelz” by J. Cole

  • “Suge” by DaBaby

  • “Mixed Personalities” by YNW Melly, Kanye West

Classics from previous decades or even early childhood are also songs to play at these occasions. There’s a good chance everyone in the room will have a  story attached to it and know some if not all the lyrics. It’s a great middle ground for strangers.

Here are some essentials for those occasions:

  • “Dancing Queen” by ABBA

  • “Without Me” by Eminem

  • “Flashing Lights” by Kanye West

  • “Hey Ya!” by OutKast

  • “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne 

Now that tests have been aced and parties have been attended, t’s time to return home for winter break. Let the homebound road trip commence. The heat is on in the car, but the music is louder, the corn fields start to fade in the distance, and all the childhood memories weave together to make a warm nostalgic blanket. 

 Here are some essentials for a long and thoughtful drive: 

  • “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi

  • “Oblivion” by Young the Giant

  • “Let You Down” by NF

  • “Things Change” by Rob Curly 

  • “Weekend Friend” by Goth Babe 

  • “Maybe Tomorrow” by The Palms

  • “Pulp of Youth” by The Growlers

When music becomes mindless, stream a podcast for intelligent substance. 

  • “The Daily” by New York Times

  • “The Clearing” by Pineapple Street Media