Doc's Download: August 21, 2023

August 21, 2023

Dear Students, 

Welcome to the new academic year!

Last week, while welcoming students back to campus during residence hall move-in, I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes enjoying the sounds of Ohio State’s Marching Band as they practiced for an upcoming half-time show. Not only did they play my very favorite song, I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston, they also did a rendition of the slumber party anthem, Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, and even featured Era’s Tour staple, Shake it Off by Taylor Swift (I’ve learned quite a bit about her music this summer!). 

It was the perfect soundtrack to set the stage for an incredible year, and I was reminded just how much music can be a mirror for our lives.

As you go through the upcoming semester, I hope your own figurative playlist is full of all your favorites that give you energy, feelings of productivity and joy.

Although, you should also be prepared for a few days when the saddest song you’ve ever heard seems to be on repeat, or stressful days when you can’t figure out how to get Help! by the Beatles out of your mind.

Don’t forget though, some days you might need to tune it all out, make some space for silence and re-focus your mind, spirit and body. Taking a break is okay…and sometimes really necessary. (And we have many resources to help you when times get tough.)

And because a Buckeye community is a caring community, be mindful of times you need to sing a tune to inspire someone else, telling them “I Was Here” for you all along, and I always will be (much credit to Beyonce’ for that one, and I am so bummed I had to miss her concert this summer!).

At the end of the day, there is so much that can divide us, so I encourage you to appreciate, seek and share the music that can bring us together. Be inspired by the words of Ohio State’s alma mater, Carmen Ohio, and demonstrate just how firm your friendship is. This can be as simple as always wearing our school colors on Scarlet and Gray Fridays no matter where you are in the world (because remember, there will always be another Buckeye nearby!), or as meaningful as setting – and achieving – a community service goal each year.

No matter how you choose your personal playlist, here’s wishing you a year of harmony, success and friendship. Always remember that you are your life’s personal deejay, so play your own beautiful, favorite music in whatever order, volume and time you need. It’s all up to you!





Melissa S. Shivers, PhD 

Senior Vice President for Student Life 
The Ohio State University