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The Daily Tar Heel

Office DJ: Songs to cope with a scorching Chapel Hill fall


Audience Engagement Editor Elise Trexler climbs a rope course at the Adventure Center of Asheville in 2021. Photo Courtesy of Elise Trexler.

I miss summer. For the past three years, I’ve had the best summers ever because I work at a summer camp.

My days were filled with the perfect amount of chaos that only comes from working with kids all day. The only assignments I had were to lead games, answer millions of questions and avoid getting stung by bees.

When camp ended, I knew it would be difficult for me to re-acclimate to the non-camp world. Usually, that would entail changing leaves and chillier weather. I always planned to wear jeans on the first day of classes.

Not in Chapel Hill.

Coming back to school and being faced with even hotter weather than I experienced at my camp in the mountains was like summer, but worse. 

I got to see my friends again at the expense of having less enjoyable responsibilities and having to trek to class while I felt sweat running down my back.

Naturally, the sweat gave me the instinct to listen to my summer playlist as I walked to and from classes. This made me sad, though. “emo girl” by Machine Gun Kelly doesn’t hit as hard inside Dey Hall as it does playing card games on the weekend with your closest friends.

August and September of “fall” semester were sunny enough to make me yearn for camp, but the workload I faced was more reminiscent of pumpkin spice lattes and crunchy leaves. To combat this issue of the weird in-between-summer-and-fall state, I made a playlist full of tunes that make me smile looking back on the summer, but can also prepare me for when the leaves actually start changing.

The ratio of Mt. Joy songs to songs by any other artist is high because it’s one of my camp friends’ favorite bands. “Harry’s House” was the album of the summer — I added the songs that I listened to least during camp so I wouldn’t get too nostalgic. Still Woozy brings me into the fall spirit, and nothing puts a smile on my face faster than Sammy Rae & The Friends.

So, as the Chapel Hill temperatures are dropping below 80 degrees, I invite you to join me in mourning the loss of summer — finally.


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