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The Daily Tar Heel

Office DJ: Songs to overcome (or embrace) nostalgia


Assistant Opinion Editor Caitlyn Yaede photographed in 2007. Photo courtesy of Caitlyn Yaede. 

Anyone who knows me could probably guess that nostalgia is my least favorite emotion. I fear the feeling that my best days are behind me. My heart sinks when I think about people that are no longer in my life — for better or worse. 

Change has always been difficult for me, and my twenty-first birthday is another reminder of how much my life has changed since coming to UNC.

I’m using this time (and these songs) to become more comfortable with change. I’ve realized that the parts of my life I’ve left behind are the ones that no longer serve me, and the person I’ve grown into today wouldn’t be the same without their influence.

Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” is an ode to this sentiment — although The Chicks' cover of the 70's classic has a special place in my heart and on this playlist.

“Jolene” by Great Caesar played in the car while my family drove me to move-in day in 2019. “Tomorrow” by Shakey Graves wins the title of my all-time favorite song and has helped me navigate loving and losing relationships, both romantic and platonic.

I’m also learning to appreciate the good times while I’m in them. “Someday” by The Strokes reminds me of my two closest friends, while Jim Croce’s “Walking Back to Georgia” brings memories of hot August days on campus.

The best songs are ones we don’t even know how we found. Remi Wolf's “Disco Man” is an energetic example that will always remind me of my favorite person I met during junior year.

All of these songs are pieces of me, just as much as they are pieces of my UNC experience. They’re pieces of the people who I don’t talk to anymore, and the people I hold closest today. 

I’m dedicating my twenty-first year to not just being comfortable with change, but embracing it. And while some things may be temporary, these songs are forever.


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Caitlyn Yaede

Caitlyn Yaede is the 2023-24 print managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel and oversees weekly print production. She previously served as the DTH's opinion editor and summer editor. Caitlyn is a public policy master's student at UNC.