Berkeley bops to set your 1st year to

Cheyenne Tex/Staff

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What better way is there to kick off freshman year than jamming to a playlist as alternating feelings of terror and doe-eyed curiosity wash over you? Maybe this playlist will push you out of your comfort zone, or maybe it’s filled with favorites you know and love. Either way, your next four years here at UC Berkeley will undoubtedly have a mix of both. Check out these songs with simply relatable vibes!

“Brain Stew” — Green Day

The number of people who are unaware that Green Day was formed right here in the East Bay is surprising. This song fully captures what you may feel like after three days of back-to-back midterms (even though that’s not even remotely what it’s about).

“Class of 2013” — Mitski

If anyone knows the angst of being a college student, it’s Mitski. Her haunting voice and the raw emotion in her lyrics as she sings about simpler times at home will definitely hit you hard with those homesick feels.

“Sober” — Childish Gambino

College will seem to pass you by even more quickly than this summer did. So, enjoy the little things while you can! UC Berkeley is tough, but it’s a place for you to grow and make fond memories. When it’s over, all you’ll be thinking about is how good it was.

“Bad Town” — Operation Ivy

Another punk band spawned by Berkeley, Operation Ivy has a song that paints a picture of, well, a bad town. Possibly a reflection of Berkeley in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, or possibly completely unrelated, take this song with a grain of salt, and just absorb the eclectic melodies.


Imposter syndrome alert! It runs rampant in Berkeley, but hopefully this song brings you back down to earth. While we love BROCKHAMPTON’s uncountable number of members rapping in this song, pay close attention to Merlyn Wood’s verse — it hits particularly close to home.

“Memory Lane” — Anemone

On top of this being an absolute hippie dream-pop jam, it’s just an overall relaxing and funky song. It’s perfect for chilling on Memorial Glade, strolling through Downtown or drowning out loud voices while you’re trying to study in Moffitt Library.

“death cup” — Mom Jeans.

Mom Jeans. has become a major up-and-coming Berkeley band in the past few years, and “death cup” is yet another song to turn to when you feel like nothing seems to be going your way. It’s a song that lets you know you’re not alone in your struggles.

“America” — Simon & Garfunkel

This song screams new places and untold adventures, which is exactly what Berkeley represents to many students, new and old alike. Let Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel take you away with their folk-style guitar, humming, and lyrics dripping with wonder.

“Danger” — The Motels

It’s never a complete playlist without at least one synth- and bass-driven ‘80s jam on it. The peak of new wave bands, the Motels were formed in Berkeley in 1971 but didn’t blossom until the 1980s, just as you may not get accustomed to UC Berkeley right away. With time and effort, you’ll find your niche.

“Student Demonstration Time” — The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys took a pause from their classic surf rocks songs to write an ode to student activism at various colleges, and UC Berkeley is the first one mentioned. Step back into the nostalgia of the Free Speech Movement as your walk through Sproul Plaza is soundtracked by this inescapably catchy song.

UC Berkeley is more than just a single-note college. There’ll be ups and there’ll be downs, and you might even end up going sideways a few times. But with each experience, you will develop 

yourself more as a person, and hopefully you’ll have great things to look back on. Keep your music handy, put a little pep in your step, and take advantage of the time you spend here!

Contact Pooja Bale at [email protected].