Beyonce at the 2012 BET Awards on July 1 in Los Angeles.
The ever-changing landscape of pop music features bandwagons that are irresistibly enticing to join. Recently, we have witnessed the rise and return of boy bands on the radio (i.e. One Direction) and the lament of longing that 20-something girls constantly croon (Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe).
But there is one classic performer who has remained an awesome, active presence in music since the ‘90s: Beyoncé.
Hip-hop, R&B, pop: Girl has it all on lock. Each song is as fearless as she is with her solo career. I have yet to come across another female figure in the industry as intimate, wise and empowering as Beyoncé.
College can be intimidating at first. However, it is so much easier to abandon your anxiety in exchange for strength when listening to Beyoncé. These songs, with lyrics taken entirely out of context, truly guide my undergraduate experience and will enhance yours.
“I need no permission / did I mention / Don’t pay him any attention / ‘Cause you had your turn / and now you gonna learn / What it really feels like to miss me”
If there is an anthem in pop that preaches the power of single livin’, it’s Single Ladies. Never mind the fierce choreography — you’re in college and you’re not tied down to any convention, whatsoever. You are free to hop around from major to major and really experiment with what course of study suits you. Remember that, in the grand scheme of things, college is about your own personal and intellectual enrichment.
Plus, you can apply this to your love life (or lack thereof) guilt-free.
“All my ladies get it up / I see you, I do the same / Take it to another level / No passengers on my plane”
“Take it to another level” is basic, but often forgotten in college; do not shy away from challenging yourself. College can be a rigorous, mind-boggling institution. The biggest challenge is to do something with everything you have learned and push yourself to synthesize something greater than you previously anticipated.
“My persuasion can build a nation / Endless power, our love we can devour”
Beyoncé is so unbelievably straightforward: Do not sell yourself short. You have countless resources available to you at school — professors, libraries, databases, career services — that are waiting to help you. Most importantly, do not doubt your voice. Maybe during karaoke, but not when you are deeply invested in a cause or experience you believe in.
Survivor (by Destiny’s Child)
“I’m a survivor / I’m not goin’ give up / I’m not goin’ stop / I’m goin’ work harder”
Beyoncé is the Midas of most clichés where she can sing anything and it will, to an extent, become pure gold. This is nothing short of gold.
College is a place where many do struggle. Fact: You will struggle. The key is to swallow your pride and learn to handle everything, from balancing extracurriculars to settling on a major. The first step, explained in another (extraordinarily timeless) cliché, is to believe in yourself.
“What goes around comes back around”
Karma, for one reason or another, seems like a theme in college. You do not have to be a deceitful, heartless, high-grade-hungry fiend to succeed in school. When you do good, it will come back to you. This, essentially, reminds me of a fantastic Abraham Lincoln quote:
“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.”
Beyoncé and Lincoln were obviously on the same wavelength in different time periods.
“I just want them to know / That I gave my all, did my best / Brought someone to happiness / Left this world a little better just because”
Beyoncé released this video last month in honor of the first-ever World Humanitarian Day. On campus, there are plenty of ways to get involved with a cause that can flourish with your efforts. Volunteering around your community, fundraising for charity and even voicing your concerns and offering solutions will go a long way. Colleges may seem like a small platform to do so, but it is a great place to start changing the way you and others view the world.
If the marching band horns in the beginning of this song do not motivate you to dance around your dorm, I don’t know what will. With Beyoncé, you will always triumph.
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