My Commute Playlist

As a busy commuter, I have a lot of free time on my hands. From waiting for the train/bus, to riding in silence, while I awkwardly glance at a stranger a few feet away. Several minutes go by, while waiting for your delayed train and avoiding the homeless people at the station asking you for money. The best way to fill up this time is to plug-in my head phones and listen to my current favorite songs. This way I can avoid over-friendly people and keep up the “I don’t care, I’m too out of it” attitude of a college student. Here I have comprised a list of my 10 favorite songs to listen to while I try my best to take the cheapest route to getting a college education:

Holocene – Bon Iver – We’ll start with a slow and soft song for the first one because it’s Monday morning and anything loud is annoying. This song continues my morning daze and it makes me feel like I’m sleep walking, a state I always thrive to be in. Getting on the train, I always end up in the quiet car and so any type of loud music is unacceptable, so this a good pick, if you too, always end up in the quiet car.

One Last Night – Vaults – First of all I’d like to tell you that the music video is a slightly awkward one to watch. I also want to say that this song comes off the Fifty Shades of Grey sound track, not the new one, but the old one. I stumbled across it when I watched the movie out of curiosity. For those of you who have watched it, it’s in the scene where Christian takes Anastasia on a ride in a weird-looking plane, which he flips around while she screams in joy. Although the movie was mediocre, this song really stuck out to me with its slow plucking, to its electronic violin strings that lead to the chorus. It’s perfect for your slow transition through Monday as you try to accept that your surroundings can be loud.

Never Ending – Rihanna – No, I’m not talking about my 3 hour drawing/drafting class, but the fact that Rihanna could literally sing the Teletubbies theme song and I would replay it to death like it was her new hit single. This song gives me the inspiration to live through this week. With very minimal instruments that support her angelic voice, I can feel my soul coming back into my body again. This is the type of song I need to listen to after my teacher announces that we need to buy more drawing supplies for the class.

Patience – The Lumineers – It seems like my songs have this reoccurring theme of relating to my current state. This song is only 1 minute and 30 seconds but there are no lyrics and just a piano. Just the type of music I need to listen to when I’ve just ended my night class at 9 pm. This song is just like a lullaby with its soothing ballads and repetitive nature. Which is perfect because of how much I want to curl up into a ball and pretend I didn’t have two 3 hr classes in a row.

Immortal – Elley Duhe – Now its Wednesday morning and although I had a night class the night before, I have come around to the fact that this “school thing” is actually something I’ll have to complete, and that this week is going to happen whether I approve or not. This song makes me feel better about not paying for a dorm because it makes me feel like a tough city girl who takes public transportation to make ends meet. Even though my train ride is only 15 minutes and I live in a townhouse in the middle of suburban New Jersey. It’s a lot different from the other songs I chose because of its upbeat nature, her sass filled voice, and how the music has a way of pounding into your ear. It’s great for when your walking to class because you can sync it with your steps. Just make sure you don’t trip and fall.

A.CHAL – GAZI – This song is usually my go to when I take the bus to class. It’s basically the theme song to my struggle with public transportation. It keeps me strong when I’m pushed to the back of the bus with a smelly backpack shoved in my face as I grab the last seat. With its catchy beat and relatable lyrics I’m able to ignore the tears forming in my eyes because of how bad this guy’s backpack smells and how much I hate doing this everyday.

Runaway – Ed Sheeran – At this point it’s Wednesday afternoon and I’m really considering doing what Ed Sheeran is telling me to do. I thought, this morning, that I could really make it through this week but my perseverance only lasted a maximum of 3 hrs before I decided that I should just cut it and run. This song is perfect for when your bus driver decides to stop the bus and shut it down completely because the back engine is overheated. Unfortunately, I can’t runaway. All I can do is glance longingly at the bus doors that are glued shut because it takes power to keep them open. With Ed Sheeran’s soothing voice, rhythmic beat, and stringy guitar licks, it helps me not think about all the train I’m missing.

Trust Nobody – Cashmere Cat ft. Selena Gomez and Tory Lanez – Selena Gomez said it right, you really can’t “Trust Nobody”, especially the NJ transit app because the trains are ALWAYS delayed. This dance number is also perfect for the times you’re minding your business at the station, and a random guy in a grey hoodie offers you a brown paper bag of donuts claiming “they fresh as hell”. Even though this song is a club song with its electronic beats and smooth dance vibe, I think Selena Gomez was really teaching us a lesson about trust.

Redbone – Childish Gambino – This jazzy melody is my “I can’t believe the week is almost over” anthem. It’s a reminder that there are amazing phenomenons out there like the high-pitched voice that comes out of 33-year-old Childish Gambino’s throat. I listen to this song on my way home from my Thursday class making sure that I don’t pick a quiet car for this particular song. Honestly, I have no idea what he’s saying but at this point I’m beyond caring. I leave the deciphering and analyzing for school, which I had left behind a train stop ago. Propping my feet up on one of the metal railings close to the seat, I lean back on the cheap maroon foam seats, close my eyes, and thank the gods I have only one day left.

Goodnight Gotham – Rihanna – This song makes me want to run and jump over something or into something or do some kind of parkour stunt where I somersault down something. It’s just the kind of burst of adrenaline I need on a Friday. With its distortion, light drum beat, and the rush of sound that suddenly fills your ear drums, I feel like I’m walking into battle. What am I fighting? I don’t know maybe the crowd of college students all trying to squeeze into a narrow rectangular bus. The fact that the song was not sung by Rihanna, but just a mix of Florence and the Machine’s song “Only If For A Night” or “A Night”, makes it all the more intriguing. The song is literally one sentence, “only if for a night”, but the mix is so good that I almost forgive the fact that it wasn’t Rihanna singing on the track. Almost.


These 10 songs will help you survive the average life of a college student whether you do commute or not. If you’re a commuter like me, this playlist could be your last grip on sanity. If you dorm, this could play in the background while you cry over your student loans. I unfortunately will be doing this commute for the time being, until Rutgers decides to cough up my degree. As I get better and better at navigating my way through this system called “public transportation”, I will need all the music I can get for emotional and mental support. Whatever your music choice may be, always remember that as long as you have your headphones in you can pretend that this isn’t reality.


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