Editor's Note: This story first appeared in The Daily Texan's February 9 print edition.
Devra Winslow grew up listening to Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, her dad’s favorite album and a musical staple in her childhood home. However, Winslow said it wasn’t until high school when the album began to gain importance to her.
“The song’s rooted in the band's story of how one of their old bandmates relied heavily on drugs and lost himself,” Winslow said. “For me, it's a reminder to (not) let (anything) take over to the point where I lose perception of reality and what really matters.”
Music plays an important role in the lives’ of many UT students. Their favorite songs have helped them navigate through challenging experiences and emotions when they felt no one else could.
“I feel there's a stigma around the (mental health) issues I was dealing with,” psychology freshman Winslow said. “I had people I could talk to, but I didn’t want to be a burden to them. (Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd) was there for me in ways I didn't allow people to be.”
Psychology freshman Meghan Lamsfuss discovered her favorite song, “Fever” by The Tragic Thrills, in the midst of a heartbreak four years ago. When she first heard the song, Lamsfuss said she was amazed by how much it resonated with her.
“I’m gay, and (the song) mentions the struggles of (being gay),” Lamsfuss said. “I connected with that a lot, and it (has) helped me through quite a bit. It’s given me hope.”
Lamsfuss said her favorite song has helped guide her through her emotions, keeping her balanced.
“I was going through a heartbreak right when I was newly figuring out who I was,” Lamsfuss said. “All those confusing feelings all together (weren’t) healthy, but that song really helped me just accept things and work through them.”
Unlike Winslow and Lamsfuss, journalism freshman Ivy Fowler didn’t fall in love with her favorite song immediately. Initially, she said she hated it.
“The first time I heard (“Ivy” by Frank Ocean), I didn’t like it,” Fowler said. “Then, I really got into Frank Ocean. I remember the moment it became my favorite (song) was February of (2020). I remember (thinking), ‘This is my life … everything he’s saying is what I'm going through in this moment.’”
Being a bit of a melancholic person in general, Fowler said “Ivy” resonates with her deeper emotions.
“Nostalgia is really healing to me,” Fowler said. “‘Ivy’ reflects that in its lyrics, and it's helped me resonate with my emotions and be okay with what I'm feeling.”
Alone in her car, Fowler said Frank Ocean’s Blonde is an album that she finds herself coming back to. Whenever “Ivy” comes on, she said she would always scream out the lyrics, “If I could see through walls/ I could see you're faking/ If you could see my thoughts/ You would see our faces.”
“Sometimes, I'll be so alone in my feelings,” Fowler said. “Then I'll put on (“Ivy”) and it makes me feel less alone, like I'm not the only person who's gone through this.”