College is a vast and endless mass of new people, from different backgrounds, with different stories, and different favorite slices of Ian’s pizza – the faces and interests, the personalities and talents — it’s almost bittersweet that there are so many cool people residing in the world of UW-Madison, yet no possibility of meeting them all. Any attempt at making a genuine connection with all of them is futile; however, that’s what matters most. That’s what these years are about. Essentially, that’s what life’s about. Having said that, how the HELL are we supposed to be making these types of connections whilst scurrying past each other as the hand flashes red at the crosswalk, as we wait alongside one another in the Chipotle line, or as our conversations get lost amongst the sea of a crowded basement party. There has to be some type of filter, right? Well, do not be fearful my friends, for I have found just that. Behold. The ultimate and immediate way to genuinely know a person, other than, you know, discussing goals and aspirations stumbling home in the wee hours of the morning. To truly see someone. To let the light in.
Creep. Their. Spotify. Playlists.
Forget the murky abyss that is their Instagram posts, their most likely non-existent tweets, or their weekly additions to Facebook albums. Sure, pictures and snide twitter remarks are important, but their taste in music thoooooo. That. Shit. MATTERS. A person can absolutely be figured out by taking a gander at what they listen to. The variety of songs they carefully assemble to fit the whirlwind of moods for a Monday. Are they heatedly bumping old Kanye as their 30-day free Tidal subscription for The Life of Pablo has just expired? Or endlessly repeating the Lumineers’ newest single “Ophelia”? Are they blissfully taking it back with Leon Bridges? Or making use of the fact that the Beatles were finally put on Spotify this year? Is Rihanna’s ANTI their version of a spiritual awakening, with “Work” unleashing body movements previously not thought to be possible? To see what they like for when they’re dramatically walking to class in the morning’s ferocious winds, studying late at night, or vibing in their dorm room at 2 a.m., these playlists are key. Before you can radically conquer the world with someone, your music must mesh. Or compliment each other’s. It has to, because music is a window to the soul.
Music is what connects us. It creates this whole and endless world of expression and passion and of creativity and emotion. It’s raw and alive as it masterfully tells stories and relives moments that would otherwise be lost. Like, just sitting there and vibing to music with someone? That’s the best. I’ve never felt more connected to someone than when listening to and talking about music. It’s personal, as it displays a passion for what each artist, song lyric, or the simple fret of the guitar means to someone. It’s how we crack each other open in an attempt to uncover deeper connections. If music is important to you – which it absolutely should be if you are at all human (engineer majors too) – don’t deny this key to the fascinating enigma that is every college student. Music speaks in ways that we are incapable and expresses emotions in a manner that we cannot, so I beg you, take advantage of people’s public Spotify playlists.
Life’s about the groovy tunes. Revel in it.