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Three Lessons Learned from my Pre-Study Abroad Playlist

When I was a little kid, l remember listening to the radio with my Aunt Tammy in her 1995 Chevy Trailblazer, and asking her what was the meaning behind the lyrics of different songs. We would jam out to artists like The Script, Yolanda Adams, and Brittney Spears, which clearly shows our diverse music taste. And even today, music remains an important facet to our bond (in fact, believe it or not, that 1995 Chevy Trailblazer is still, a’ blazing!).  Ever since these early experiences, I have always listened carefully to music and the messages they are trying to communicate. There’s really a song for every occasion, I believe, including preparing for study abroad trips. So, here are three songs from my pre-study abroad playlist:

  1. The Fear by Ben Howard

As we all know, study abroad can be a frightening process – leaving our family and support system, and entering a new world full of ambiguity. But what will we ever learn about life if “we all live our lives in the confines of fear?”

  1. Good Old Days by Macklemore (feat. Kesha)

Before leaving the States, I had unrealistic expectations of my study abroad experiences. Perhaps, one could say, I was expecting a perfect experience, but the learning process and adjusting was certainly not easy. It was hard to be grateful for those tough experiences when they were happening, but I kept telling myself that one day I will appreciate that I have done this, and one day I will look back upon this moments more fondly.

  1. Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae

“Sometimes we feel afraid, but it’s all right,” because it’s a natural feeling. Being ourselves and proud in our skin is the only way to overcome this fear. The song also reminds us to appreciate the little pleasures one comes across in day-to-day life: the birds singing outside your window, the sunny weather, and the laughter in the streets.

The list of potential songs for a pre-study abroad playlist are endless. Share your suggestions in the comments.