8 Song Titles That Also Describe My First Year of College

by Adrian Mark Lore

First Semester

  1. Jerry Paper: “International Man of Melancholy”

Four months, three countries, two dead parents, one existential crisis, and no place to go. Good thing there were a dozen slowcore albums on my Sansa Clip to soundtrack my misery – but hey, at least I had my first semester of college to look forward to. Of course, I was intimated by the coming year, like any incoming freshman, knowing it would be a hectic time. Thankfully, I had a therapist to remind me of all the unresolved childhood issues I still needed to tick off the to-do list – should I have invested in a better agenda? Acquired Trigger: My dreams.

  1. Radiohead: “2+2=5”

I used to be good at math, I promise. In high-school I aced my AP Calculus BC exam, and that was after missing four months of class. My teacher said I should major in it. And I considered it too, until I took my first college calculus class. Not that the class was particularly difficult, but add to it a dose of crippling depression and my decision to take five million and one credit hours while working longer than University policy allows its part-time employees, and you get a disaster the likes mathematicians had never before predicted possible. Now that’s math that I can do. Acquired Trigger: The integral sign.

  1. Brian Eno & David Byrne: “Very, Very Hungry”

As dieticians recommend: everything in moderation. One of the most widely popular weight-loss techniques is poverty – but be careful! If you’re not poor enough, you might gain weight from a lack of access to natural foods, only being able to afford the cheap snacks that help fuel the United States’ obesity epidemic. But be too poor, and you’ll thin down to nothing, unable to afford anything at all! I found the right balance, eating only dinner and exclusively in the dining hall of my university. Technically, I could have gone for breakfast as well, but I had to make a choice between nourishment and sleep – and you can’t be hungry if you’re not awake. Acquired Trigger: A low Flex-Point balance.

  1. Codeine: “D”

I should have seen that one coming, to be honest. Acquired Trigger: Scantrons.

Second Semester

  1. of Montreal: “Hello From Inside a Shell”

Somehow I not only survived my first semester, but came back for round two. I had also managed to recover from my depression virtually overnight because brain chemicals? So that was good also. Too bad I had already alienated myself from everyone, but at least this wasn’t like starting over since I had never started to begin with. So I started smiling to people again, and I also quit my job to devote my time to things I love because I am an empowered citizen of the twenty-first century, and I even spent a little bit of my savings to buy those little espresso shots with soymilk that I like. Acquired Trigger: Ring-by-spring.

  1. The Dismemberment Plan: “Spider in the Snow”

Apparently I have been blessed with supernaturally moist skin, so at least I have that going for me. While my roommates lathered on layers of lotion like a Hoosier does sunblock in Aruba, I could be found gleefully smacking my lips – and averting my eyes – on the other side of the room. That doesn’t mean I didn’t turn into a glorified snowflake over the course of a January in South Bend, my first real winter. It wasn’t all bad, though. At least not until I, broke, had to walk several miles through a blizzard to an off-campus location for a psychological study, all in exchange for a few bucks and two Walmart gift cards that I’m morally compromised against using. Acquired Trigger: Exiting buildings.

  1. Swans: “Weakling”

Coming back after Winter Break, I made a commitment to start going to the gym again. It felt pretty good, surprisingly – but endorphins hardly help when you sneeze while very sore after an ab workout. Of course, it wasn’t my first time at the gym; I would go daily throughout high-school. But it was definitely my first time lifting next to enormous rugby players, which is especially fun after months and months of not seeming to gain a gram of muscle. I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s worth not being able to fully extend my arms. Acquired Trigger: “Do you even lift?”

  1. Jim O’Rourke: “Half-Life Crisis”

As my second semester in college drew to a close, I realized that I still had to do all the work of mentally digesting everything that had happened to me throughout the year. It was a cathartic disaster, but I like to believe that everything worked out in the end. I changed my major for the third time, but as my third semester begins, things seem to be settling down. I have sheets on my bed now, and even a rug! I’m still hungry more often than not, but my tears keep me hydrated. For the first time, I wish college could last forever. Mostly because I have no money whatsoever to pay for rent after I leave. Oh well, we’ll see what happens. Acquired Trigger: Graduation.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Most Relevant Song Title About My Wednesday Introductory Bio Lab

of Montreal: “Lecithin’s Tale of a DNA Experiment that Went Horribly Awry”

  1. Most Relevant Album Title

Brian Eno: Before and After Science

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