Rutgers—New Brunswick is home to five campuses, all with such different and distinctive vibes that it can be difficult to believe you're even attending just one school. For all the new students trying to figure out what to expect from each campus this fall, here are songs that I think encapsulate the respective energies of the campuses you will soon be quite familiar with.
The College Avenue campus
"Doses & Mimosas" by Cherub
Nothing screams walking down the College Avenue campus on a sunny day quite like "Doses & Mimosas." Whether you're passing by a fraternity house, The Yard @ College Avenue or a campus organization that's tabling under a clear-skied day, you're bound to hear this song blasting through a speaker.
It truly does speak to the energetic and lively vibe of the College Avenue campus, solidifying its status as the campus that never sleeps.
"The Spins" by Mac Miller
"The Spins" gives off a similar energy to that of "Doses & Mimosas" in that it's the perfect song for young college students trying to make the most of their youth. "The Spins" is the ultimate party anthem and, ergo, the anthem of the College Avenue campus.
"Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes
When I think of Livingston campus, I think of the Rutgers Business School, athletes, first-years in the quads and possibly the most overwhelming dining hall I’ve ever seen. To me, "Seven Nation Army" is the quintessential Livingston campus song, with a beat like no other and a "ready to rumble" type of energy that keenly aligns with the happenings of this campus.
This song is definitely what's playing in my head as I'm battling other students for a spot on the LX at the Rutgers Student Center on Livingston campus bus stop, and coincidentally, it is something I wouldn’t be surprised to hear at the dining hall or from a speaker at the Rutgers Business School.
"Ms. Jackson" by Outkast
This Outkast classic is one of those songs that is reminiscent of waiting inside the packed Jersey Mike's Arena on Livingston campus for a win from the Rutgers men's basketball team. With its catchy lyrics and melody, "Ms. Jackson" is a great pick for your time on Livingston campus, whether at a game or while grabbing a bite at Henry's Diner.
Cook and Douglass campuses
"Where You Lead" by Carole King
Being on the Cook and Douglass campuses during the fall resembles being in Stars Hollow from the hit show, "Gilmore Girls." Beautiful, warm-toned leaves cascade from trees, students bustle about and a sublime autumnal energy radiates campus.
This Carole King hit (which happens to be the theme song from "Gilmore Girls") is perhaps the most apt song to fit your stroll along Passion Puddle or across the rickety Kissing Bridge.
"Let The Light In" by Lana Del Ray (featuring Father John Misty)
This mellow and romantic tune from Lana Del Ray and Father John Misty captures the movie-like energy you get from simply stepping foot on the Cook and Douglass campuses.
"Let The Light In" matches perfectly with the earthy and calm vibes of these campuses and truly transports you into their picturesque world. The ideal way to listen to this song would be in Neilson Dining Hall on Cook campus on a rainy fall day.
"What I Did For Love" by the cast of "A Chorus Line"
You can't talk about these two campuses without acknowledging the Mason Gross School of the Arts or Cabaret Theatre, so it would be a crime not to include at least one show tune on the playlist. The arts have a real and visceral presence on these campuses, and "What I Did For Love," from the seminal musical "A Chorus Line," is a song by and for those in the arts, detailing the reality of what it means to have a passion for theater and performance.
I personally prefer the version from the 2006 Broadway Revival, which is linked here, but for extra pizazz and theater history, give a listen to "What I Did for Love" from the 1975 Original Broadway Cast Recording.
"Creep" by Radiohead
Busch campus has a real industrial and stark vibe to it, reminding me acutely of the song "Creep" by Radiohead. The intense melody of "Creep" matches the energy given off by both the architecture and academics on Busch campus. It's the perfect song to listen to as you broodily march to a physics lab.
"The Scientist" by Coldplay
Of course, you can’t have Busch campus without scientists. From engineering to pharmacy, Busch campus is incomplete without its STEM students, thus making "The Scientist" the best tune to describe this campus. In regards to the kinds of high-level science courses offered on Busch campus, this song's lyrics say it best, "nobody said it was easy."
No matter what campus you find yourself on this semester, I hope this playlist gives you some understanding of what it’s like to be a student here at Rutgers—New Brunswick. And for any returning students, I hope you've agreed with my song choices. Maybe it'll even give you a little inspiration when making your own playlists this semester!