Everything can be told through music – especially the story of a couple of weeks overflowing with parties and radical changes. For most of us, Freshers unfolded just like a bad yet quite memorable film, and as all films require soundtracks, we have put together a slightly nostalgic playlist for you to listen (and add) to as you plunge into university life. So grab your headphones and give it a go!
‘Changing’ – Sigma
When I think of songs that encapsulate the transition to university, this for me epitomises it all. Partly because this is the song that played at every Freshers’ party three years ago; hearing it is almost nostalgic now. But that’s not the only reason. The lyrics speak about being able to break free and claim your independence (“Because everything is changing/ And I’ve been here for too long/ Gotta let go”). While moving away from home’s comfort can be scary, it’s also incredibly promising: the best years are coming!
University is one of the biggest shifts of our lives, with a whole set of new experiences to embrace – and this song sums it up perfectly. It is an emotional rollercoaster – both exciting and nerve-wracking. So jump on board and get ready to immerse yourselves in everything university life has to offer!
Words by Bruno Russell
‘Start of Something New’ – High School Musical Cast
High School Musical might have the words ‘High School’ in its title, but this Disney Channel Original Movie is far more relevant as a student. Although ‘Start of Something New’ isn’t my favourite song from the film’s incredibly memorable soundtrack, Troy and Gabriella’s first song screams Freshers’ Week to me. It’s literally called ‘Start of Something New’ – I don’t think it’s hard to relate this to the terrifying experience of moving into halls and meeting your new friends/enemies. I don’t have the best taste in music, but I didn’t spend my tweenage years learning the words to the HSM songs for nothing. Whether you’re a Gabriella or a Sharpay fan, I think we can all relate.
Words by Josh Nicholson
‘Shut up and Dance’ – Walk the Moon
There’s something romantic about meeting a stranger on a night out – and I’m not talking about drunken conversations with your ‘new best friend’ in Jesters toilets.
This upbeat track, mixing a catchy tune with relatable lyrics, perfectly captures the spontaneity of clubbing and usually served as a welcome shot of energy in the latter stages of an evening frequenting the classy bars of Southampton. Honestly. Oh, fine, it was Sobar.
Almost certain to make a niche comeback at some stage during Freshers again this year, ‘Walk the Moon’ not only made a track wonderfully suited to every pre-drinks from now until the end of time, but also gave me the chance to close my eyes and re-live several fantastic Freshers nights out – even if only for about three minutes.
Words by Damian Meaden
‘The Weekend’ – Modern Baseball
‘The Weekend’ by Modern Baseball is a mish-mash of themes and lyrical topics. The band have always written lyrics from the perspective of those stood at the edges of the party, nodding along to the music, casually sipping their drink and striking up the odd conversation here and there. They are the ones who never fully embrace the lifestyle of the popular kids, who don’t jump into the wildness of the party.
‘The Weekend’ is the track that shows this perspective the strongest, as it speaks of partying, meeting that new girl who could be that special someone, and hanging with new friends who are so much better than the jerks you’re used to. Isn’t that what we all want from uni life? A fresh start – to be the life of the party, make new friends who will last a lifetime, and maybe fall in love. It’s the perfect song to encapsulate this feeling: “Most of my old friends I can only stand for the weekend, but that doesn’t apply here”.
Words by David Mitchell-Baker
‘Intoxicated’ – Martin Solveig & GTA
This song gave Martin Solveig his first top-ten in the UK Singles Chart – and gave me and my flatmates our first ‘university’ song, not least because the title perfectly summarises how we spent our first two weeks in Southampton.
A regular on dance floors as far apart as Sobar and Switch in the Autumn of 2015, ‘Intoxicated’ beautifully contrasted a simplistic, must-have club beat with a catchy tune, and the lack of complex lyrics made it the perfect song for the tipsy masses to remember.
‘Intoxicated’ is obviously a metaphor for being in love, although in my experience its signature lyric – “You got me intoxicated” – is probably better used literally against my flatmates, or the bar staff in Jesters as they hand me yet another Jesticle. And no, I don’t know what’s in them either.
Words by Damian Meaden
‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ – Arctic Monkeys
There’s something about ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ and Arctic Monkeys in general that has me thinking of Freshers. This upbeat song is messy yet thrilling – just like the beginning (if not all) of the long-awaited university life. It is a fatal yet omnipresent combination of letting go and over-thinking, of indulging into a state of absolute confusion and wanting to know what is happening. The lyrics are fresh, wild, and honest, very similar to a student entering Freshers with the hope of avoiding the incoming responsibilities of adult life… at least for another party (“Oh, there ain’t no love, no Montagues and Capulets/ Are just banging tunes and DJ sets”).
Indulge in this state of not knowing, Freshers. And it’s not just not knowing whether “the feeling flows both ways” (whoops, wrong song), but not knowing in general. Welcome to University.
Words by Thea Hartman