Let’s be honest — moving into college is terrifying. In the first few weeks, you simultaneously have to let go of your hometown, adjust to the chaotic grid that is Berkeley and find a community? That’s a lot.
But at the same time, this new environment can be exhilarating. So take a breath, put in your earphones and listen to our “Welcome Freshmen” playlist for background music as you explore Berkeley for the first time.
“Kings of Summer (feat. Quinn XCII)” — ayokay
You may feel like your kick-ass summer is over, but Berkeley’s summer weather lasts until well into September. Warm nights and pink-orange sunsets go hand in hand with the first few weeks of school, so let the sunlight inspire you to venture out. The Big C, Grizzly Peak and Indian Rock Park are beautiful vista points for you and your new friends to gaze at the Bay Area. Bring that summer spirit into your first few weeks, and you may find yourself a little more at ease.
“Rollin (feat. Future and Khalid)” — Calvin Harris
With a long, activity-packed week, Golden Bear Orientation can feel like you’re rollin’ down the freeway at 85 miles per hour. Exploring campus and doing icebreaker activities might be overwhelming, but it’s also thrilling. So kick back with this collaboration by Calvin Harris, Future and Khalid, and dive in to what the campus has to offer.
“I’m Good” — The Mowgli’s
“How’s college going?” your high school friends and family will ask. And if you’re falling in love with your new friend group, this song by the Mowgli’s is for you. It’s cheesy and wholesome, which is exactly how you may feel as freshman year kicks off. This song is about the hilarious dinner conversations at Crossroads and sitting next to your new friends in lecture halls.
“Bruxelles” — Boulevard des Airs
Let’s slow it down with Boulevard des Airs. If you find yourself consumed by the vastness of the ceiling in Doe Library’s North Reading Room or walking down the aisles of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, then “Bruxelles” is the song for you. Berkeley evenings have a breeze that complements this song perfectly, so stroll around campus and let the vastness sink in.
“Your Shirt” — Chelsea Cutler
The song is about being separated from a loved one, so if you’re missing your hometown sweetheart, sink into your feelings with this song. It’s OK to be emotional — the first year of college is a hard transition for many. In a new space, it’s important to dedicate some time to understanding and processing your feelings. Chelsea Cutler’s light, poignant voice is the perfect background music for this.
“My Type” — Saint Motel
On the flip side, when you start majorly crushing on that person in your class or on your floor, Saint Motel’s “My Type” will be the perfect hype music. Press play and dance around your room — spontaneous dance parties are key to bonding with your roommates. Saint Motel perfectly captures the rush you get from liking someone new, especially when you’re in Berkeley.
“All Falls Down (feat. Syleena Johnson)” — Kanye West
Part of becoming a UC Berkeley student is discussing the ethics of of every possible situation. So here we have one of the notorious Kanye West’s greatest songs: “All Falls Down.” At night, when everyone’s sitting in the lounge, queue up this song for a conversation about whether one can still enjoy and listen to this song after West publicly supported Donald Trump.
“Mi Gente (feat. Beyoncé)” — J Balvin, Willy William
Let’s be real — college is nothing if you’re not dancing your heart out at parties. And of course, an homage to Beyoncé is of utmost importance. So when the lights are low and spirits are high, “Mi Gente” is the way to go. Sometimes, the best way to connect with your friends is letting loose on a table at a party.
“Suno / Trouble” — Berkeley Dil Se
If you’re a complete geek like me, good news: Berkeley’s South Asian fusion a cappella group is on Spotify! The group’s mixes of Indian and American music are creative and spunky. If you’re in the mood for surveying what the campus has to offer, this is the song for you. Even if a cappella isn’t for you, Calapalooza will be a great way to find a student group that does fit your interests.
“Celebrate” — Anderson .Paak
College can be a very isolating experience if you’re not used to alone time. If you remember to celebrate small moments, being independent becomes a little easier. Learn how to smile at the sunny Memorial Glade as you’re walking between classes, or treat yourself to a latte from Brewed Awakening — it will transform your days. Anderson .Paak’s voice in “Celebrate” will help bring that smile to your face, even if you feel alone at times.
Contact Malini Ramaiyer at [email protected].