Use music to get out of those new semester blues

By Sarah Contreras

Every once in a while, I find myself getting frustrated.

This is one of those whiles.

It’s the beginning of a new semester and, like clockwork, I am a ball of stress. Multiple calls to the Financial Aid office and many instances of screaming at the MyNIU homescreen have me seriously doubting that I am going to get my class schedule ironed out anytime soon. I’m frustrated with myself and school–we both tend to make things so difficult. I can feel myself losing my patience and optimism; I can feel myself starting to spiral.

We all know what the spiral is. The spiral happens when negative thought after negative thought invades your brain. You start to doubt yourself, and it infects every other aspect of your life. The world is terrible. Nothing is going right. Why do you even try? Ugh! Nothing is worth this kind of run-around!

The spiral–it isn’t a fun ride.

I’ve been an undergraduate for much longer than I care to share. This semester is supposed to be, finally, my last. I am so close to my degree that I can see the entry-level writing job that is on my horizon. However, due to a series of complications that are taking place right now, I am beginning to doubt that my dream is going to come true by May.

I’m being overdramatic, of course, but how I feel is how I feel. I work two jobs and just picked up a third, yet money is still a problem. I have to start making big decisions regarding my future, and I don’t really have parents who can offer advice. These school problems are the straws that are threatening my poor camel’s back.

So where do I turn when I’m starting to freak out? Why, my music collection, of course. Whether I am too tired to write another article or too anxious to form a coherent sentence, music is always there to calm me down. I throw on some tunes and become my own personal cheerleader. From a broken-down heap of emotions, I transform into an all-powerful, ass-kicking superwoman. Nothing can hold me back! Look out, administration, I am on my way to argue my way to success!

I have certain songs that I listen to when I am feeling a bit defeated. While most carry inspirational messages about finding peace, toppling obstacles or finding inner strength, some just make me really happy. They make me shimmy and make me smile.

While you may not be in a particularly tough place right now, I figured it would be nice to share my playlist with you for those days when you just want to crawl under your blankets and hide.

Kick Drum Heart – The Avett Brothers

Let It Be – The Beatles

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Lucky Now – Ryan Adams

Bigger Than My Body – John Mayer

A Praise Chorus – Jimmy Eat World

The Weary Kind – Ryan Bingham

More Than Useless – Relient K

This Is Why We Fight – The Decemberists

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Start a War – The National

Lost! – Coldplay

The Thanks I Get – Wilco