All my life, I’ve been told that my dreams are too big to reach and that I should settle for what I can get. Because of that, I’ve worked my ass off to try to meet my goals and to show those people that I can actually do something great with my life. For me, music not only embodies what I’m feeling, but it also brings me out of the funks caused by people who try to make me feel inadequate. With my college graduation nearing closer with every second (quite literally – I have less than a month), those insecurities rooted in me can’t help but come out. Thank God for music that reminds you that you’re truly capable of anything that you set your mind to despite what the haters say, which is what these songs accomplish perfectly in their lyrics.
1. “The Reckless And The Brave” – All Time Low
This upbeat, fuck-what-people-say anthem is the perfect track for anyone who is trying to get away from “…everybody always saying/’little brat must be crazy never making it in our vicious little world.” The terms “reckless” and “brave” are both things that one has to accomplish in order to be taken seriously in a society that tries to undermine us. The loud, pay-attention-to-me tone in lead singer Alex Gaskath’s voice brings to life the yearning to chase our dreams, but there’s an underlying message that reminds us that we have our whole lives for our “songs” to be written – nothing has to be done all at once.
2. “Go” – Boys Like Girls
Sure, it’s by far the longest song they’ve ever written, but the lyrics are pretty much written for those who feel the anxiety of thinking they can’t reach their dreams like they hoped. Martin Johnson doesn’t need to try hard to show empathy and encouragement through the lyrics – their paring with the simple guitar strumming and violins make words more meaningful and easier to take in. The verses following the first round of chorus (“yeah, I know you could make it through, cause I believe in you/so let’s go put up a fight, lets go make everything alright/go on and take a shot, go give it all you got”) are probably the most motivating words someone can say, because it proves that there will always be at least one person that believes in you, no matter what.
3. “Here I Am Alive” by Yellowcard
Even though this is Ryan Key’s narrative for if he can go back and tell his younger selves what the future holds for them, it doubles as a track that reassures us that it’s perfectly fine to screw up in life because in the end it will work out. The back story of how no matter how much “someone’s gonna tell you, who you should wanna be” they will still find a reason to give up on you really hits home for me, because some of the closest people who were supposed to believe in me didn’t when I really needed it. The chorus of accepting yourself despite your flaws and choosing to stop listening to those who want to bring you down makes this a great track to blast in front of that one particular hater.