Playlist: Young at Heart

I’m entering my 30s, and there’s nothing I can do about it. After all, I am not entitled to my own facts. So I have no issues acknowledging my age. But I find it challenging to come to terms with the social constructs that come with the number. Here are 15 tracks for people like me who refuse to grow up.

Forever Young by Alphaville

My sentiment about growing up is as confused and conflicted as Alphaville’s. On the one hand, I want to remain young and not have to bother with the problems of an adult. I fear for my physical well being as well. But at the same time, given the chaos around me, do I want to linger longer? Or stay as powerless as the young are?

Here’s to Never Growing Up by Avril Lavigne

If the young at heart had a patron saint, it would have to be Avril Lavigne. With each record that she releases, her sound and songwriting seem to get less mature and more in touch with her inner kid. There’s no second-guessing here. The title pretty much sums up her feelings about aging.

What’s My Age Again? by Blink 182

I have no issues answering the age-old question about how much time I’ve spent on Earth. But I want to find out why it matters. “What’s My Age Again?” came out when I was a child. Back then, the pop-punk trio was criticized for the way they behaved. But like the band, I embrace my identity. I don’t care about what others think (at least I try.)

Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots

When I was young, I wished I was an adult. I thought my problems were the hardest to crack, and that independence would help me break away from them. As Twenty One Pilots chronicles in their own journey, they realize they are even more imprisoned by the bills they have to pay and the stress that piles up. Kids, be careful what you wish for. `

22 by Lily Allen

It’s hard enough to find a partner. Nor is it easy to find a career I’m passionate about, and at the same time, pays the bills. The compounding pressure and expectations from people around me do not help.  Lily Allen puts it bluntly – for some, life is already over if you’re still dealing with these issues. Well, f*** them.

We are Young by fun. featuring Janelle Monae

I’m generally intense and uptight. But a night out with friends, with the secret ingredient called alcohol, brings out the best in me. It frees me from my inhibitions and lets me embrace danger for a brief second. fun.’s “We are Young” is the anthem of all the wild but memorable nights I’ve had and will continue having.

My Generation by The Who

The last thing I want to do when I grow old is to look down on the generation that comes after mine. I agree with The Who, there is no one way to dance. The rhetoric and baseless narratives that people form about my age group continue to frustrate me. People should just let each individual be (unless they’re criminals, of course.)

I’m Just a Kid by Simple Plan

Simple Plan were not kids when their debut single “I’m Just a Kid” came out. But the band clung on to the child within as they navigated through this challenging world. As adults, time told us that the sentiments in this song are unfounded.  If they had rewritten this today, they’d feel as, if not more, isolated and wronged.

Teenage Dream by Katy Perry

There’s a reason why even Katy Perry reminisces about her teenage dream. Love in this period felt ideal and void of the realities of required to make it work. Nowadays, financial stability, location, and plans about having kids become considerations. Once, it was purely a question of spark and passion.

Time to Pretend by MGMT

Who would’ve thought that a praying mantis inspired such philosophical questions about venturing into the real world? I’m in the same situation the band sings about – away from my family, commuting every morning, and getting an office job. I’m forced to live with the same pretenses that MGMT speaks of. To be honest, I miss the old days.

Stop this Train by John Mayer

John Mayer has a song for every phase of life that I go through. “Stop This Train” is my plea to the gods to stop time and keep things the way they are. Though this prayer will not be granted, I’m left with a sense of humility and gratitude. It makes me appreciate the present day and rewards me with an opportunity to utilize the time I have left.

Still Fighting It by Ben Folds

Just the amount of bands that have disbanded proves how ugly growing up can be. Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five keeps his son company in the journey of discovering the world. And while nothing can delay the inevitable, hurt is often less painful with someone by your side. I wish I had that constant companion to fight off life’s bitter realities.

22 by Taylor Swift

Is being 22 a period or a state of mind? For me, it’s the latter. While the song is not one of my favorites, when Taylor Swift’s “22” plays on the speakers, I can’t help but sing along and embrace the energy it comes with. It plays on my nostalgia and gets me on a trip down memory lane – all the dancing, daydreaming, and drama.

Fat Lip by Sum 41

Who wants to fall in line and conform? No one. But the reality is, most people end up doing it, myself included. Sum 41 made it clear in their breakout hit that all of this is a waste of time. And I can’t help but agree. They are still making music today. But I’m not sure if their attitude towards life has changed.

Young and Beautiful by Lana del Rey

I don’t want to pretend I’m above the superficial world. I have to wonder whether my fading youth and beauty will make me less loved. I bet the reassurance I’ll get from people in my life will be a resounding “It won’t matter.” But if Lana del Rey has these insecurities, then good luck to me!



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