As I walk through campus, surrounded by people who look nothing like me, I can’t help but feel like I don’t belong. I try not to compare myself to anyone but it seems like everyone around me has their lives figured out, their friend groups established and their futures secured. And though these feelings may not mirror the truth, they still linger in my mind.
In order to escape the confinements of my thoughts, I plug in my headphones and launch the Apple Music app. Once I hit play, and turn the sound on, the negative thoughts turn off and my worries begin to dissipate.
The hums of Kid Cudi soothe my mind like honey to a sore throat and his intergalactic beats teleport me to another dimension.
The guitars of Santana place me on a tropical beach with a beaming sun that defrosts my pina colada to perfection.
The vocals of Eartha Kitt drive me to a black and white French film from the 1950s where everything happens in fast-motion and there is no dialogue.
The ethereal instrumentals of Jhene Aiko elevate me to the clouds while her lyricism brings me back down to earth and humble me.
The familiarity of Nancy Ajram’s voice takes me back to Sunday nights at my Tata’s house watching Arabic television, drinking shai and eating so much baklava that my teeth hurt.
My freshman year of college has me feeling lost, but music helps navigate my journey. Music has the power to teleport me anywhere I can imagine, and though the song will soon end and I will be awakened to my reality, it’s still nice to escape from the struggle every now and then.