The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday March 26th

Office DJ: Songs for life's road trips and pit stops

Assistant University Editor Liv Reilly in 2011. Photo courtesy of Liv Reilly.
Buy Photos Assistant University Editor Liv Reilly in 2011. Photo courtesy of Liv Reilly.

“Maybe your life is going to be just one big road trip, using a destination as an excuse for getting in the car and seeing what the Fates have in mind for you."

My dad said that to me in an email last October following a phone call where I cried about how much I hated UNC. 

Last semester was my first semester of college and the lowest point in my life. I wanted to take a gap semester, transfer schools and run far away from Chapel Hill. I felt as though I couldn’t do anything right and found myself in a cycle of just being manically emotional all the time.

However, I held on. I didn’t take a gap semester nor did I leave Chapel Hill. I decided to keep pushing forward and see what this destination on my road trip through life had in store for me.

I began to realize that though I hated Chapel Hill, maybe the purpose of this pit stop was to test my strengths. Maybe college was the first destination where I really needed to get out, stretch and reevaluate before continuing on my way. 

My love for road trips comes from my parents. When I was a baby, they would take me for drives around the neighborhood to get me to fall asleep at night. As I got older, we continued to go on our adventures. 

My first real road trip was in seventh grade, when my Dad and I took the long way home from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Mooresville. We spent seven days exploring Route 66, eating beignets along the Mississippi River and allowing the Fates to guide our path.

Many more wonderful road trips have been taken throughout different parts of the country since then, and I couldn’t enjoy it more. I treasure the minutes that I’ve spent in the car with my best friends on the way to watch a sunset in the mountains or navigate across the Pacific Northwest. 

I’ve recently realized, with help from my dad, that my life is just one long road trip, and I’m going to have to make some pit stops along the way. Some will be exactly what I want them to be, while others are going to be my worst nightmare. 

So far, I’ve met some really cool people on my trip, and I’ve seen some really cool things. I look forward to the pit stops, landmarks and characters that I have yet to see and meet. 

This playlist is a curation of songs that have been played many times throughout both my road trip through life and on the physical ones. 

These are the songs that are played as I try to make it through my first year of college. These are also the songs that were played as my dad and I drove through Texas for 13 hours in one day and the only thing that kept us alive was praline pecans. 

These are the songs that make up a piece of me that I refuse to ever let go of as I continue navigating through my journey. 

Though I’m still learning how to dodge the bumpy roads of life and college, I plan to use my destinations as an excuse for getting in the car and seeing what the Fates have in store. 


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