Music offers instrumental outlet for student bonding

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GRAPHIC BY ALLY LIU / THE FLAT HAT

From blasting Taylor Swift as my suitemates and I clean the bathroom to singing TikTok songs as we attempt to learn the dances that go along with them, I never realized how large of a role music would have in my college experience. But, there has been a song playing behind just about every memory I have made at the College of William and Mary so far. Through the good and the bad, music has become a big part of my life at the College. Music is something that I think we tend to take for granted in how much it impacts us.

One of the easiest questions to ask someone and bond over is what music they listen to. Asking this question has led me to countless late nights blasting throwbacks from the early 2000s with my suitemates: singing at the top of our lungs, most likely annoying everyone in the rooms surrounding us. This question has also led to many discussions about which Taylor Swift song is the best, and it’s obviously, “You Belong With Me.” Any other answer is wrong. I mean, how could it not be “You Belong With Me”? It’s a classic, and you can’t not jam to it. Sometimes I wonder if my suitemates would be as close as we are now if it was not for our bond over music, and the endless discussions about Taylor Swift and who her songs are about.

“Sometimes I wonder if my suitemates would be as close as we are now if it was not for our bond over music, and the endless discussions about Taylor Swift and who her songs are about.”

In college, there are not a lot of things worse than having an early morning, except maybe having an 8 a.m. class every single day of the week. Sometimes during my 8 a.m., my suitemate will shower, and one time during a particularly stressful week she decided to listen to Lewis Capaldi during her shower. This concerned my breakout room greatly. Lewis Capaldi is known for having music you cry to, and so her listening to him at eight in the morning on a Thursday especially concerned my breakout room. I had to knock on the bathroom door and let her know that my breakout room could not only hear her music but was also concerned about her as well. The next day I got asked by one of the people in that breakout room if my suitemate was doing better. While this is something that I found funny, it seemed to only further embarrass my suitemate. This is just one example of many that shows how large a role music has played in my college experience.

There is not a time in my life where I can say that music has played a bigger role in my life that it has since I’ve come to college. It has definitely shaped my college experience so far, and it has helped me make some great friends along the way, which I think coming into college during a pandemic had me concerned I wasn’t going to be able to find. Looking back on the two months I have been here, I can honestly say that while I never expected music to play such a big role in my life, I can’t imagine music not being anything other than the big part of my life that it is.

Email Erica Smedley at eesmedley@email.wm.edu.