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Pop hits and college kids

| Tuesday, August 25, 2015

PopHits_Banner_WebErin Rice | The Observer

’Tis the season for school, parties, chilly weather and — as always — music. Throughout the year, college students of all ages, backgrounds and music interests experience similar cycles of angst and leisure. Have you ever wondered how our diverse student body could possibly relate to one another? Fortunately, my glamorous summer job of ice cream scooping allotted me enough time to answer you all — Billboard’s 2014 Hot 100 Hits. With songs ranging from Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” to TSwift’s “Blank Space” — all overplayed and potentially overrated, I know — the Hot 100 Hits of 2014 provided us the with moral support and empathy needed to endure the year.

“The Monster” – Eminem ft. Rihanna (January 4, 2014’s Top Hit)

Eminem and RiRi’s January single couldn’t have come at a gloomier time in a college kid’s life. Ah, January … the month without breaks and sunlight. What could be more relatable than Eminem rapping about his — and maybe our own — insanity? “The Monster,” a ballad set to balance mental stability amidst fame and success, empathizes with your everyday college student’s struggle to maintain sanity during frigid weather and classes. I mean, let’s face it: we can all do without January’s bleak connotations, so why not celebrate our struggles with a rap god and pop diva?

“Timber” – Pitbull ft. Ke$ha (February 1, 2014’s Top Hit)

Okay, so I realize this song’s upbeat nature contrasts with the cold, gray skies. However, the differences between the two provide us with a little reassurance, right? Certainly we can all resonate with the fun lyrics and fast-paced tune during winter’s point of no return. February’s lull calls for a song that releases the pent-up energy of staying inside all day. Therefore, Pitbull and Ke$ha’s pop beats make for a party you won’t remember with the ones you won’t forget (ha ha).

“Dark Horse” – Katy Perry ft. Juicy J (March 1, 2014’s Top Hit)

Despite the word “dark” within the title, Katy Perry’s hit single kindles a flame of dance prevalent within the month of March. March — a month filled with mockingly warm weather (those few warm days are an absolute tease), spring break and St. Darty’s Day (er, Paddy’s Day) — fills college students with some false hope for spring and summertime. With that said, Katy Perry’s single exudes a fluctuation of fast and slow tempos, which mimic college kiddos’ paces through class, parties and life in general. “Dark Horse,” though overplayed, provided us all with suave, seductive beats needed for mid-semester.

“Happy” – Pharrell Williams (April 5 and May 3, 2014’s Top Hit)

Ah, April and May … two months of the year predominately centered on Chubbies, darties and, finally, warm weather. Obviously enough, Americans’ moods crept their way into Billboard’s Hot 100 Hits during the “happiest” point of the school year. The warmth of the sun and the quads mirrors this high-spirited hit’s lyrics and tempo. Admittedly or not, people of all races, genders, shapes, sizes and ages — who make up the music video’s entirety, I might add — have jammed to this hit at one point, so why not during the two most optimistic months of the school year? Also, did anyone else notice Steve Carell in the music video? That made me happy.

“Fancy” – Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX (June 7 and July 5, 2014’s Top Hit)

Yes, this song wore on me too, after a while, but you have to admit it’s the perfect tune for the middle of summer. Whether studding out at a new internship or suffering through a part-time job, Iggy’s hit either perfectly or ironically empathizes with a college student’s midsummer lifestyle (or lack thereof). With that said, even though I could barely make it through the song toward the end of July, Iggy’s “Fancy” rings an oh-so familiar and/or ironic bell in each of our heads.

“Rude” – MAGIC! (August 2, 2014’s Top Hit)

‘Tis the season, ladies and gents, for school to start yet again! Though our excitements for fall steadily increase, pieces of our heart will always long for summer. Why not promote a song filled with smooth melodies and island vibes in the midst of our transition? MAGIC!’s hit reminds college students to keep calm throughout the pre-school stressors — shout out to the freshmen leaving home — and enjoy life.

“Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift (September 6, 2014’s Top Hit)

September, filled with a beautiful sky and crisp air, brings with it football season and the mid-semester feels. While the football players play, play, played their little hearts out (not to mention 31 – 0), we sang, sang, sang to yet another one of TSwift’s poetic justices. Friends old and new gathered around campus to shoo haters and celebrate their year-long freedom.

“All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor (October 4 and November 1, 2014’s Top Hit)

Simply put, Meghan Trainor’s hit single lasted through the most fattening months of the school year. October and November — holidays and all — bring about candy, Thanksgiving feasts and home-cooked meals galore. What better way to show off all our newfound bass’s with “All About That Bass?” Meghan Trainor’s message throughout the song persuaded us college kiddos to indulge in that extra slice of pie.

“Blank Space” – Taylor Swift (December 6, 2014’s Top Hit)

With the semester’s end approaching, Notre Dame students young and old gathered to celebrate yet another one of Tay’s hits. Whether through final exam questions (I know I sure had a few “blank spaces”) or nights with friends, “Blank Space” related to each of us in some way. Its energetic tune and dramatic lyrics mirror the final parties, goodbyes and classes of the semester. The holiday drama obviously correlates to Swift’s demeanor as well. Overall, what better way to end a stellar 2014 year than with a song relating to your stereotypical college student’s mindset?

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