Jillian Firnhaber, Echo’s Marketing Coordinator, tells us her experience with freshman year

Although most people think of California as the state of perpetual beach weather, in Northern California it can get quite chilly. That was a huge surprise to me, coming from sunny Orange County. University of California – Santa Cruz, where I went to school, had a special term for the sweeping case of seasonal affective disorder that seemed to blanket the school from January through March: winter quarter blues. For me, the winter quarter blues of my freshman year had a soundtrack.

Lauryn Hill’s MTV Unplugged. Apparently it was poorly reviewed. But in the winter of 2006 it was my world. Specifically the track “I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel).” Although this song is about a police brutality incident – the shooting of Amadou Diallo, it somehow was an absolute perfect anthem for skipping class because it was too cold to get out of bed, and because I was busy fighting with my roommate about her weird boyfriend.

lauryn_hill_mtv_unplugged_beaver_on_the_beatsApparently, the album as a whole was meant to be a radical statement by Hill, about how the record industry was trying to sanitize and market her. I did not get this either…I really thought these were acoustic versions of songs she had released earlier, not an entire album of new music. Later, I would take a social justice class and become much more aware of radical statements in facets of American life.

Okay, so besides the obvious “The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe, what music reminds you of your freshman year in college? Perhaps some jams about independance? Maybe something more sophisticated to illustrate your new erudite lifestyle? It’s okay if you didn’t understand the political undertones of the album yet – I won’t tell anyone. – Jillian, Echo Marketing Coordinator. 

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