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The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Snapshots of senior year: my high school wrapped

My playlists for each year of high school//Abby Kapur

I stalk my friends’ Spotify profiles. Looking through their playlists tells me more about them — what albums they like and how their music tastes change. Just in case I’m not the only one stalking profiles out there, I’ve diligently made playlists as a record of my own favorite music over the past four years. With them come the memories associated with all of my favorite songs. So with the first semester of senior year behind  me, I figured it was time to review the soundtrack of my high school career. 

Freshman year’s playlist cover is a photo of the sun setting over Lake Tahoe. During quarantine, I would put Lizzy McAlpine’s album “Give Me a Minute” on repeat. Three years later, I would go see her live for my first concert. 

All I did that year was read, run, watch BBC Sherlock and listen to music. My playlist was mostly made up of Zayn, Florence + the Machine and Hozier, which tells you a lot about how that year went for me. My freshman playlist is the shortest and least memorable.

What I remember from sophomore year is learning how to live: getting used to going to school in person and running with my team. Despite the remaining COVID-19 precautions, it was my first real year of high school. Some artists from freshman year (Lorde and the Neighbourhood) carried over, and I listened to Lucy Dacus, Frank Ocean and Mitski for the first time. “Ivy” and “Godspeed” by Frank Ocean still remain some of my favorite songs. 

I went to my first homecoming. That part of sophomore year is dominated by the cheerful tunes of “Honey” by Coastal Club and “45” by the Bleachers. The playlist cover is a quiet photo of the blueish-purple sky above the houses along Lawrence Trail, a route I ran every week during quarantine.

By junior year, I’d gotten the hang of things. The cover for that year’s playlist is a photobooth picture of my best friend and I at prom, the background glittering purple. I was learning how to drive, and I spent the time playing Childish Gambino’s album “Because the Internet” at my sister’s recommendation (Cue “III. Telegraph Ave”). I listened to a lot of Beach House when I studied. 

Carpooling with my friends always led to someone playing Taylor Swift, especially after she released “Midnights.” If I could describe that year in one song, it would be “Sweet Nothing” by Taylor Swift, because it’s full of the affection and simple joy that defined junior year.

I spent the summer between junior and senior year listening to Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season” and Taylor Swift’s release of “Speak Now.” Then Swift played “To All of the Girls You’ve Loved Before” and “Stay Stay Stay” for our surprise songs at the Eras Tour, and suddenly I had two more songs associated with summer and my friends screaming the lyrics louder than Swift sung them.

During senior year I started listening to Faye Webster, mainly because my best friend loves her. Ed Sheeran made a comeback, especially after I went to his concert in September. I grew up listening to his music, which brought an aspect of nostalgia to his soft pop.

My top song in 2023 was the Wisp Sings by Winter Aid, which brought me right back to freshman year. I used to listen to it on repeat when I ran. More recently, it was always playing when I studied and wrote college essays. Some things never change. 

But my senior year playlist has no cover photo yet. I’ve been simultaneously divided between excitement to graduate (“The Spins” by Mac Miller) and anxiety over college decisions and growing up (“The View Between Villages” by Noah Kahan). This year has been a whirlwind so far, and I haven’t had a chance to pick a photo to capture it. 

As I pass the halfway mark, I’ve started to wonder what the soundtrack of our lives says about us. When you hear that one song in ten years, who will be the first person you think of? Will I remember watching the artist perform it live or yelling the lyrics with my friends? I hope I remember all of it, and that the familiar notes of my favorite songs will bring me right back to the memories.

Even though I’m not completely “Out of the Woods” yet, I want to say thank you to the music and memories that got me through high school.


Tuned in,


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About the Contributor
Abby Kapur
Abby Kapur, Sports Editor
Abby joined the Wildcat Tribune on a whim and stayed for the wonderful people she found. Her goal for this year is to leave the sports section better than it used to be. In her free time, Abby loves to run with her team, get coffee with her friends, and bake with her sister. A fun fact about Abby is that she has watched her favorite movie, Knives Out, at least seven times. If Abby could be anybody on the Tribune, she'd be Luna (past Tribune member), because of the unique, attentive way she sees the world.

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