Over my college experience, I’ve gone through some tough things. For starters, I moved seven hours away from home for school. And then there's all the stuff in between the first day of freshmen year and graduation day. But the hardest part of college might be the daunting reality that you have about four years to quickly grow up and become an adult. And adults do things for themselves. Some of these things include buying a car and learning how to do taxes, but it also includes things like getting a real job and figuring out how to feed yourself.
Somehow, in the past two years, I’ve figured out how to deal with my “adult" problems. To be honest, the only way I can deal with any problem is by blasting music. If I had to give advice about college, I would suggest becoming attuned with worship music. Secular music is great for long drives and social gatherings, but sometimes the only thing that will soothe your soul in those stressful moments is praising God.
Because I’ve had to find all this music on my own, I thought I’d save you the trouble and share some of my most important worship songs.
“Covered (Live)” by Planetshakers
I have cried many times listening to this song. It’s a song I often play when I’m pulling out of my driveway at home, and I have to drive those seven hours back to school. It reminds me that no matter what happens, no matter what I do, God takes me as I am. He loves me, and He COVERS me. Because it’s such a long song, I tend to get lost in it. I get lost in God’s grace, and it is so beautiful. I wish more people knew about this song because it’s extremely important to me and my faith.
“It Is Well (Live)” by Bethel Music
I think most of us know the hymn, “It Is Well.” This is not that song. At least, not really. It has parts of the original song within it, but it’s mostly rewritten. It’s one of the worship songs I use to calm myself down. If I want to cry, I usually go to this song first. It is beautiful, it breaks my heart, and it gives me life.
“You Make Me Brave (Live)” by Bethel Music
Whenever I need to get pumped up about something, I listen to this song. The bridge especially can get me going. This is the song I scream in the car with the windows down.
“No Longer Slaves (Live)” by Bethel Music
Sometimes I get scared. I have started having more run-ins with anxiety over the past year or two, and sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball rather than face the world. And when that happens - when I panic - I turn to this song. I sing the chorus under my breath and I feel God holding my hand.
“Be Thou My Vision” by Campus House Worship
Obviously this is a well-known hymn. The only reason I put this recording on here is because I had it on repeat in my car for the past few months. It is nothing special. It's simply comforting. I really like the bridge; it gives me strength.
“Beast” by The Orchardist
One of my good friends wrote and sang this song. The first time I heard it, I instantly connected with it. All I do in my life is create idols and beasts, and I never know how to conquer them. This song is a good reminder that God has the power. God can conquer anything you’ve built, anything you’ve constructed. He can save you.
“From the Inside Out (Live)” by Hillsong UNITED
I like this song because it’s so mellow. It feels almost like a big warm hug. It’s another song I listen to when I get anxious or afraid. Additionally, whenever I listen to this song, I can feel God’s presence washing over me. It’s perfect for those hard days.
“Come Away (Live)” by Jesus Culture
Although there isn’t much to this song lyrically, there’s something so comforting about it. A lot of the time, I struggle with not being a hundred percent committed to God. In my heart I say I am, but often my actions do not reflect that. I’m not a perfect Christian, but this song reminds me that that’s okay. My favorite part is the line, “it’s not too late for you.” Every day is a new day with God.
“God I Look to You (Live)” by Bethel Music
Of all the songs listed, this is probably the song I’ve leaned on the most. Whenever I drive to work (because that’s often when I feel the most anxious), I listen to this song. It’s extremely calming, and it has helped me a lot in the past. It always seems to show up at the right moments.
-Jenna Kilpinen // @jennaclarek