We asked incoming freshmen of the Tufts Class of 2019 to send us playlists to soundtrack their summers and write about the songs they chose. Summer Soundtracks is the result.

By Liam Knox

This summer is my last summer – at least, my last in the way I’ve come to know the word. The last time I’ll experience that American cultural phenomenon of adolescence, the stuff of wiffleball and pool parties and fantastically nervous flings. The next three months are my chance to say goodbye to old friends, familiar bike trails, basements, and suburban sprawl. Of course, it also means cramming as many hours as possible into my minimum wage job so I can maybe afford some textbooks or something.

This combination of relief and nostalgia inspired my playlist. It’s made up of songs that excite and relax me, songs that make me want to surf, and songs that make me want to mosh, songs that remind me life is beautiful, and songs that remind me not to take my sunny summer freedom for granted. “Salad Days” and “Let’s Go Surfing” bring me back to the beach with their carefree riffs. “Fourth of July” and “Sea Creatures” transform fireflies into somber symbols of the transience of happiness with their atmospheric melancholy. “Always Alright” just gets me hype for Boston Calling. “Trap Queen” is somewhere in there, too. It seems a little out of place, but the playlist felt hollow without it.

Music has helped me through a lot of my years as a stressed out high-schooler – bad breakups, AP exams, family disputes, sleepless nights, even processing the Lost finale. These songs will help me get through the next big step in my life: becoming a Jumbo.

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