I first came to Chicago in August of 2008. The beginning of college ended up marking a whole new chapter in my life. Friends, family, and my entire life lay behind in New Hampshire, but the magic of the city was calling my name. Fascinated and inspired by Chicago's vibrant charm, I took to walking the streets around the South Loop for hours on end: Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, the Trump Tower -- everything was so big and new. Dynamic landscapes of art, music, and culture surrounded my inaugural college adventure, and the city slowly won me over.

This is a collection of songs that accompanied my first semester of college. Some guided my pedestrian explorations, others helped ward off the brutal cold of winter. All of them remind me of that spirited time when I was discovering the world, learning how to be a grown-up, and gaining my footing in the mysterious city that I would eventually call my home.