With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you may be searching for a low-cost, but sentimental gift options. If you’re like me, I’m sure your parents have recounted the glory days of records and mixtapes to you whenever you talk about streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify. When I was younger, I would painstakingly sit at our shared family desktop, arranging songs that cost me $1.29 each on iTunes into the perfect order to burn onto a CD to listen to on a road trip or for a special day with my friends.
These creations were truly time capsules, highlighting what I believed to be the greatest music of the modern age: High School Musical soundtracks, Hannah Montana songs, with the occasional Jonas Brothers track to tie it all together. In some ways, I miss the process of creating the perfect order and title for these playlists. I recall the way a sharpie would glide across a blank CD, giving you the chance to create, in a way, your own album cover for your creation.
This process in much simpler now, but doesn’t detract from the original goals of playlist creation: to group together songs that you love, to sort them into different moods or vibes, to create a group of songs that will get a party or event started, or to showcase songs that make you think about someone you care about.
It has become increasingly easy to share your musical tastes with the world. We can make nearly any song available to those close to us by sharing it on most social media with a simple swipe or tap. Before I even knew what Spotify was, I was making lists of songs during my elementary school summers to share with new friends that I was eager to share songs with. As a culture, we love lists. Some people live their entire lives based off a checklist of things that they believe they are expected to do. What if we took some time to intentionally create a playlist for someone we care about? I think that the experience might surprise you.
I recently made a playlist for someone that I care for deeply. Here’s what I learned: when you sit down with music and a person in mind, you recall the musical moments that you’ve spent together. All of the songs that played on the radio, songs with lyrics that seemed to be written specifically for or about that person, all of the songs that would play if a movie montage of your friendship or relationship were playing on the big screen came flooding into my mind.
It sounds dramatic, but making a playlist for another person makes you think deeply about the things that you want them to hear, and expresses them in a way that you may not feel capable of doing so yourself. It takes some of the pressure off, while still giving the person you care about a meaningful musical experience.
Especially at this point in our collegiate experience, it can be hard to make friends that we don’t see very often feel known and loved from afar. Offering a friend or loved one something that is tailored to their taste and your feelings and experiences with them is a meaningful way to show you care from afar. It’s a step beyond a note or a nice text.
I encourage you to create something for someone that you care for today. It’s easy to feel alone when you aren’t seeing the people that you love on a regular basis, and expressing feelings in a positive and creative way can he