How College Changes Music

By Kelsie P. Smith

College; it is the quintessential experimentation period in a young adult’s life.

Filled with excitement, growth and a vast amount of change, college can embody diversity and propel transformation. Everything from friends to opinions, beliefs and style has the opportunity to change. One aspect that undoubtedly changes in a student’s time at a university is their taste in music. Whether it is a total revolution of preferred genres or just the introduction to new and different styles, people are simply exposed to more music when they reach college.

Stephanie N. Wolf, 21, is a senior at the University of Washington who listens to music every day for a multitude of reasons. “I couldn’t make it through a day without music,” said Wolf. The music she listens to on a day-to-day basis changes by the hour and heavily depends on her mood, she said. “I’ll go from hip-hop/pop I listened to in middle school one morning to indie soft rock that afternoon,” Wolf said. One key change Wolf noted about herself was the discovery of underground, independent artists since attending college.

This same sentiment was expressed by 21-year-old Washington State University alum Jennifer A. Wroe. “I listen to music every day for a lot of different reasons,” Wroe said. She explained that her taste in music completely transformed when she started university. “I didn’t have cable TV when I came to college, so I went online to Hulu to watch shows. I started watching international shows and that led me to international music,” she said.

Before college, Wroe’s main choice of music was indie and alternative rock. However, once she pursued her curiosity in the international industry, she was introduced to a completely new world of music. Wroe still listens to the same bands that she did in high school, though. Her horizon of music has just expanded to include Korean pop, hip-hop and European indie.

Similarly, 20-year-old Washington State University junior, Brittany E. Reid, stated how her taste in music has expanded vastly since entering college. Reid said she has started listening to a lot more artists since her freshman year. “In high school your music choices are a lot more limited by your hometown and group of friends,” she said, “but in college you have ten times more influence.” Introduction through peers is key, Reid said.

Reid also said that just because a person is exposed to and enjoys new music, does not mean that person is abandoning their old self. “Just because someone finds new music they like doesn’t mean they can’t still like the old music they listened to. That’s what’s so awesome about college,” she said. College is a time to grow and add to your previous self, she said.

College is indeed a time to grow. Parents and universities alike use this very aspect to persuade students into choosing a certain college over the other. The chance to live life, discover oneself and grow. So, why would a student limit themselves and not apply this to every aspect of their life, including music? Music is, after all, one of the biggest influences on today’s generation.

Broaden music preferences, broaden influences and broaden insight. Music has that significant of an impact.

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