Most student papers’ arts and music sections are constantly running the most dull articles–this year’s top dance club hits! Best Christmas songs! What we listen to when we study! This needs to end, especially as everyone knows the answer to the last question is either “I don’t study” or “lofi hip-hop beats, which I listen to with my quirky pet hermit crab Fitzgerald while simultaneously pretending to be the lofi girl and some boring side character in Harry Potter even though I’m twenty-two.” Here, we understand student life: we relate to the experience of staring out the window of the Robinson Library while mourning your failure to pursue a career in advanced mathematics, even though you’ve never touched a math book for more than five seconds, and definitely not when anyone could see you reading such a thing.
Disclaimer: We are not being sponsored by any of these artists to share their music in this article, especially as most of them, if they knew, would want to sue us and burn every copy of this article so that their music would not be associated with the field of mathematics.
Nothing embodies your existential angst about the world failing to recognize your yet-undemonstrated potential for being the next great mathematician like “The Winter” by Balmorhea. Something about the violin in the background just completely complements the feeling of staring out the window at the fading light above the Law School and the piano bit that comes next hints at picturing a bunch of equations you don’t understand spiralling out from the air above your head like you are in a movie…
For when the rain is pounding down on the window and you think that if you’d just tried harder at the necessary calculus to get into university, you could have solved one of the Millennium Prize Problems while also making irreverent films about your daily life on campus involving heavily-involved Rube Goldberg-esque devices and stick people made of spaghetti.
For when you are gazing at the ground at the complex pseudo-Mandelbrotian spirals of ice on the concrete while you’re walking through Leazes Park on the way to the Robinson Library, wishing you understood the complex equations behind fractals so you could look upon the world around you in an all-understanding way that would lead you to great conclusions about the life we are living. While also realizing that if you took up math now it would be too late because it would just be a skill, and not an ingrained part of your quirky-but-profound personality and outlook that is simultaneously overly naive and childlike and similar to that of a 46-year-old college professor who treats everyone around him like a 5-year-old.
For realizing you will never be that cute girl in the goldenrod-yellow ribbed sweater and high-waisted jeans who casually does linear algebra with her set of Muji 0.38mm fineliners in a pastel pink Moleskine, who is also probably teaching herself three languages and has a vlog channel about Greek mythology. You know her, the one who says that math is “easy” because it’s “logical” and “makes sense” and only passed up the opportunity to singlehandedly run a university math department at the age of sixteen because she was more interested in “living authentically”, which led to her backpacking Germany for a year. You know, the person you thought you’d be by the time you were nineteen, but now you’re twenty and you still can’t organize your own space, much less take care of a succulent and run a tumblr about speaking Swedish in the cosy hideaway of blankets and fairy lights in a Twin Peaks-looking cabin evoked by this song.