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Freshers' Playlist 2016

Jack Davies provides the essential tracks that will see you through your first year of university

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Image: PeterTea
Image: PeterTea

So you're nearly there. All those months of waiting anxiously to see if you got into the haven of top bracket mediocrity that is York University are now over, and hopefully you're ready to embark on a path of higher education, questionable life decisions and wondering why the hell all the streets in York look exactly the same. Finally getting the chance to move away from home can be an exciting time for any budding fresher, getting a first taste of independence and taking those infant steps towards adulthood. But it can also be a daunting time, full of doubts about whether you're really cut out for this uni malarkey, and whether it was the right decision to leave the comfy cocoon that was home.

Well, no matter if you're feeling a little homesick or anticipating your first pre-drinks, night on the town and drunken rendezvous, we've got you covered for every eventuality with the ultimate freshers' playlist 2016.

The one for pre-drinks: Oasis - 'Cigarettes and Alcohol'

One thing you're likely to master at uni (which some of you might be uninitiated to) is the art of the pre-drink. Now, this is a skill that must be honed to perfection; overdo it, and you'll be in your bed before the doors at Salvo's have even opened, but underdo it and you'll be paying ball-achingly expensive prices all night long to keep yourself at a suitable level of intoxication to not feel embarrassed at making a twat of yourself as you dab to Duke Dumont. So the perfect pre-drinks must be accompanied by the perfect pre-drink song, provided aptly by the brothers Gallagher. This epically rousing rock and roll tune supplies the ideal soundtrack to send you off on your night out, getting you pumped up while at the same time reminding you of the essentials of the perfect night out in York (cigarettes optional, of course).

The one for when you get to the club: LMFAO feat. Lil Jon - 'Shots'

Upon arriving in York, you may notice that despite boasting an unparalleled amount of awesome bars and pubs, club-wise, we aren't exactly spoilt for choice. And so some further liquid refreshment might be in store in order for you to actually enjoy your night and not just spend it wondering exactly why there is a campervan parked in the middle of the dancefloor at Kuda. So take some inspiration from LMFAO's corny club banger 'Shots'. Ironic really, because you'd probably need an unholy amount of Sambuca to put up with four minutes of curly-haired singer, Redfoo shouting at you.
Darude's 1999 hit will provide you with the perfect opportunity to dance and pogo around like an unhinged lunatic

The one to lose your shit to: Darude - 'Sandstorm'

The absolute greatest "hold my drink for me for the next seven minutes, shit's about to get lit" club banger of all time, Finnish DJ Darude's 1999 hit 'Sandstorm' will provide you with the perfect opportunity to dance and pogo around like an unhinged lunatic. The trance anthem is instrumental for its 7 minutes, 26 seconds entirety, and serves as a masterpiece of electronic, spine-tingling dance music to go completely mental to. Be warned though, any designs you might have on ending the night anything but alone might be scuppered when your romantic interest witnesses your sweaty, demented efforts on the dancefloor while this is on.

The one for your one night stand: Marvin Gaye - 'Sexual Healing'

And on the subject of romantic interests, you'll need this track if you haven't put them off with your questionable gyrating. You're back at your room, partner in tow, but this next bit is a little bit intimidating. You'll want a song that cuts through some of the sexual tension, calms you down a bit while at the same time still has some musical respectability so as not to look uncool in front of your would-be lover. Then look no further than Marvin Gaye's 1982 soul classic 'Sexual Healing'. Four minutes of sexy bass lines and Gaye's iconic, seductive tones will make your ONS a roaring success, even if perhaps So Solid Crew's '21 Seconds' might have been a better assessment of the evening's antics...

The one to take you to PopWorld: B*Witched - 'C'est La Vie'

So it mightn't happen in Freshers' Week, but certainly at some point during your first term at York you will visit the disastrous collage of society that is PopWorld. But if you're really going to brave the city's cheesiest drinking establishment, then you'll need something to get you in the mood. 'C'est La Vie' by Irish 90s girl-group B*Witched can do just that. A perfect nugget of pop rubbish, the track contains un-ironic "woah-oh's", actual recorded laughter and, unbelievably, a short Irish river dance section. But also a stupendously catchy chorus. Ideal to get you feeling the vibes needed to dance the night away to The Spice Girls on PopWorld's revolving dancefloor.

The one for your midnight library sessions: Foals - 'Late Night'

Up to this point in the playlist, you're probably thinking "wow, is uni really just all of this non-stop fun"? Well, in a word, no. At some point, you'll have to hit the ground with a bump and realise that you do have to do some work, after all (even if you only need that golden 40% to get you through first year). And when this does dawn upon you, you'll find yourself spending ludicrous portions of your essay or exam week in the library until all hours of the morning. Oxford rockers Foals' 'Late Night' will give you a superbly ambient background for leafing through those lecture notes, with spangly indie guitars and frontman Yannis Philippakis' soaring vocals.

The one when you're missing home: Aerosmith - 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing'

When the partying has slowed down and the hard work has kicked in your distractions are at an all-time low, and it can be easy for you to start missing home. Your own bed, family and old friends, and familiar streets can seem a million miles away, so chilling in your bed at uni and listening to some mopey tunes can be a cathartic experience. 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' by Aerosmith is at the zenith of all of these songs. Sad and tender, and yet with a rousing, somehow uplifting chorus, this song should let you feel a little bit sorry for yourself about missing the comforts of home, but also cheer you up a little and hopefully reassure you that while you may be missing home, you wouldn't want to be missing a thing about your university experience, either.

The one for essay week: Daniel Bedingfield - 'Gotta Get Thru This'

Okay, take this from someone who has been there before - essay weeks are stressful. The idea that what you do over the next 7 days could have repercussions for the rest of your life are daunting to say the least, and those 7 days stretch out endlessly before you. So what you need is a mantra to see yourself out of the other side, past all of the reading, notes, plans, drafts and re-drafts. Let that be provided courtesy of scarcely-remembered, New Zealand-born Daniel Bedingfield and his 2001 garage hit 'Gotta Get Thru This'. This optimistic, electronically-fused tune was apparently recorded on Bedingfield's bedroom PC, and it went on to be a UK Number One, twice. So there's always a fall-back if essay week proves unsuccessful.

The one for when essay week has been a disaster and you spend the final hours before the submission deadline questioning what you're doing with your life: Fast Food Rockers - 'Fast Food Song'

Probably already self-explanatory to you by now, this one is a tune for when you're gravely worried that you've ballsed things up. Bizarrely, you'll find a certain resigned euphoria in thinking you've just wasted 27 grand and 3 years. So why not properly take the piss out of yourself with the obnoxious Fast Food Rockers', 'Fast Food Song', reminding yourself you can always get a job in Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or McDonalds.

The one you'll hear everywhere: The Killers - 'Mr. Brightside'

There are certain songs that have a unanimous presence wherever you go - 'Wonderwall', anything by The Beatles, 'Don't Stop Believing'. But for whatever reason, the unofficial anthem of York University life is Vegas indie outfit The Killers' brilliant 2003 hit, 'Mr. Brightside'. I am not exaggerating when I say that you will hear this song on every student night out that you go on in York. It's an uplifting, euphoric 3 and a half minutes of indie rock gold, complete with a triumphant sing-along chorus enough to make you wrap your arms around your new best friend who you've known for all of 3 hours since sharing a box of Strongbow Dark Fruit at pre-drinks.

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