by John Leung

Whenever I write the date on my assignments, notes or tests, I am amazed that my first year here at U of T is quickly coming to end. As expected, there were periods of highs, mediums and lows. It has been a rollercoaster journey and I figured the only way to accurately depict my first year of university accurately would be using songs to describe various aspects of my experience.

I apologize if my songs don’t match up with your taste in music. I very much enjoy pop music and these songs play in my mind during these situations.


Situation: Taking a Test

Song: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

When I write a test or exam, I like to believe that I will defeat the test rather than the test defeating me. But, I know it won’t be easy and that it will be hard, like a fight. Hence, “Eye of the Tiger” describes how I envision myself “rising up to the challenge” and defeating the examination during this “fight”.

Survivor - Eye of the Tiger


Situation: Being Sick

Song: “All by Myself” by Eric Carmen

Being sick can be quietly lonely. No one wants to deal with a germy, sick university student especially when they have homework to do or a social life. “All by myself” shows how lonely it can get when you’re stuck in your room getting better by yourself.



Situation: Working Out

Song: “Lean On” by Major Lazer ft. MO and DJ Snake

I wouldn’t say the lyrics of “Lean On” describe my workouts in the gym. Instead, the background music and the pace of the song would better demonstrate my workout. The tempo of the song and background music motivates me to endure a fast-paced workout, something that I aim for and enjoy every time I go to the gym.

#majorlazer #diplo #maddecent ♫ "Lean On (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)" by Major Lazer | via #soundtracking app  


Situation: Thinking of Home

Song: “Like I’m Gonna to Lose You” by Meghan Trainor ft. John Legend

At the beginning of the year when I felt homesick, I would often gaze out my big window and wonder about life back home. This song accurately depicts how I feared that I would lose that home network. The music video is a somewhat accurate representation of my feelings at the start of the year.

Watch Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend – ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You’ Music Video


Situation: Partying

Song: “Lush Life” by Zara Larsson

University is very stressful and the workload is enormous. Therefore, it is a great feeling when one gets the chance to kick back and go out to a party. “Lush Life” talks about “living the day as it was your last” and feeling these “rushes”. Personally, I believe this song is very powerful, especially during stressful times because it reminds listeners to live life to the full despite the stressors and to enjoy the rushes that one encounters.  

Disco Balls


Situation: Hanging out with Friends

Song: “Everywhere You Look” by Carly Rae Jepsen

School friends become more powerful in university, because they are the ones that know exactly how you feel and they know how to provide effective support or advice. Even in at the crazy U of T, “everywhere you look” and “everywhere you go, there’s a heart, a hand to hold onto.”  In some ways, university is just like Full House.

The Painted Ladies


Situation: Doing Schoolwork

Song: “Work” by Iggy Azalea  (NSFW)

The ultimate goal of university is to earn a degree in hopes of enhancing your future. This song “Work” is about all the obstacles and work that was needed in order to reach a goal. Hence, Iggy’s song plays in my mind all the time as a way to motivate me to get to where I want to be in the future.


Those are just some aspects of university that I decided to highlight. If I were to talk about everything, well, this blog post would be way too long. I hope that you found this entertaining and that my taste in music did not unnerve you too much!

Now, it’s your turn. Which song(s) would you use to describe your life?