Albums that defined one student’s closing college era


Photo courtesy of Emily Melvin.

As I am nearing the end of my time at Ramapo College, I’ve been considering the albums that I’ve carried with me throughout these four years. 

Music has always been a more than essential part of my life, and this has only been enhanced during years at Ramapo. My time spent working in Ramapo’s radio station, WRPR, sharing music with friends and listening to music on my own has contributed to this list, but it’s both the music and the memories that have given these albums such sentimental value. 

Although my time at Ramapo has reached its end, I am excited for the opportunity to reflect on the albums that have defined my college experience.


10) “SOUR” – Olivia Rodrigo, 2021

“SOUR” is personal because, four years ago, I likely would never have given it a chance. My lifelong music superiority complex would have never allowed me to try something so fixed on teenage angst and heartbreak, instead opting to listen to other genres less emotionally focused. But Rodrigo has expanded my willingness to try new things, for which I am grateful.


9) “Lonerism” – Tame Impala, 2012

I’ve carried this album with me for literal years, and I rediscover it every few months with the same excitement I did at 16. There’s very little Tame Impala I don’t like, but this stands the test of time as my favorite.


8) “Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez” – Gorillaz, 2020

A personal shoutout to my closest Ramapo friend and her sister for reminding me that, not only do Gorillaz still exist, but in 2020 they are still pairing with powerhouses like Beck, ScHoolboy Q and Elton John to make absolute bangers. This is an album closely tied to the relationships I have made at Ramapo, and that — along with a rekindled love of Gorillaz — will stick with me long after graduation.


7) “Random Access Memories” – Daft Punk, 2013

I know I am one of the few who mourned Daft Punk’s separation earlier this year, but I stand by my reaction. This is an album that reentered my consciousness right before the pandemic and remained a constant throughout it. 


6) “I’m Allergic to Dogs!” – Remi Wolf, 2020

It takes a lot for an album to be good, but even more to make the first listen memorable. The song “Photo ID” came to me early in the pandemic, in a time when I desperately needed upbeat and ridiculous pop music, and has remained on repeat ever since. Remi Wolf is a nonsensical delight, and continues to charm me.


5) “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon” – King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, 2015

King Gizzard is very hit or miss for me. However, “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon” is a total surprise because I find it a no-skip album. The sheer whimsical absurdity gets me every time, and has stuck with me since I first heard it freshman year.


4) “Quit the Curse” – Anna Burch, 2018

“Quit the Curse” is an album truly quintessential to my pre-Covid college experience. My first class schedules were punctuated by long walks and commutes with this on repeat. Burch’s signature sound is a constant in the album and my college experience. 


3) “Hot Pink” – Doja Cat, 2019

Doja Cat has been an enormous player in the development of my taste in music over the last three years. I first heard her at a party during my sophomore year. I was immediately hooked, and it led me to more artists I now love, but I always return to this album. “Hot Pink” comes to me in times of need, and I have a feeling it always will.


2) “Inside” – Bo Burnham, 2021

I’ve written academic papers on it, had endless conversations about it and spent nights speeding down route 202 blasting it. “Inside” may not have had the same effect on everyone as it did on me, a Burnham fan for almost 10 years, but I believe “Inside” is a reflection of many of us, whether we realize it or not. 


1) “Father of the Bride” – Vampire Weekend, 2019

Words cannot express how thrilled I was to begin my college experience with a new era of Vampire Weekend, and that exhilaration has stayed with me. Each time I hear a track from this album, I return to that initial elation. This has been my ultimate soundtrack for the past four years, and I know it will stay with me to remind me of my time as a student.


I recognize that many of these predate my time at Ramapo, but that has not made them any less influential on my time and growth. I look forward to hearing what will define the next four years of my life, and what music will affect Ramapo students for years to come.