Vices: Music withdrawal creates silent surroundings

“Vices” is a series that challenges what we think we need. Each week, a different writer will give up something he or she “can’t live without.” We watch them land safely or crash and burn.

“Vices” is a series that challenges what we think we need. Each week, a different writer will give up something he or she “can’t live without.” We watch them land safely or crash and burn.

It’s 7:10 a.m. and an upbeat song wakes me up to start my day. This occurs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday–the days I have class.

I usually listen to at least two songs before I get out of bed half awake to get ready for another day of relentless babbling by my professors.

Music consumes most of my life, from listening to it while getting ready, while driving in my car and on train rides–it’s always there to turn to when I need a little escape.

I took on the challenge of erasing music from my life for an entire week. Even though, this is impossible at times, as there was music playing in stores or around Main Campus, I just chose not to be the one to physically turn it on.


I woke up frustrated that music wasn’t playing. Instead, there was a loud and annoying buzzing noise which irritated me from the start. As I began my homework, the thought of no music on this day was daunting. I needed music.

The combination of silence and a day filled entirely with doing homework was painful.

Meanwhile, the lack of music in my car ended up being a very strange experience. I began to observe the sound my car makes while driving, as well as how loud the cars around me were.

Usually I listened to music the most at night. I play it to let my mind wander through all the events that happened that day, as well as what’s going on in my life. Yet, I got through day one without music successfully.


Yet again, I woke up with no radio and had to wake up quicker than usual to not fall back asleep. I had to set the alarm clock on my phone to 7:14 a.m., the time I usually get out of bed with a radio alarm.

The train station is about a 10-minute ride from my house. Even though that doesn’t sound like a long time, I hated the idea of not putting on 94.5 PST and jamming to a good song.

Throughout the day I thought of music, and song after song played in my head.

I realized how much of an impact music had in my life. I don’t know what I would do without it.

I had to go to bed early to avoid thinking about that new Cobra Starship song “You make me feel.”


You know how some people are sexually frustrated? Well, I was musically frustrated.

It got harder as these songs continued to play in my mind. Doing activities such as homework was difficult for me. I kept thinking to myself, “Oh I’ve got to listen to this song later.”

I swear, Tuesday felt never-ending, it’s crazy how much I missed music.

I was in such an irritated mood and flipped out at other people who asked me the most mundane questions at times.

I tried to concentrate on homework as best as I could, since I didn’t have class this day.  As I thought of day four, I began to look forward to the weekend, when it was all coming to an end, more so than usual.


The car ride home was depressing. It was a gray and bland day and I couldn’t even listen to some music to mix it up a bit or make my day better.

Music affects my moods at times: When I want to be happy, I listen to an upbeat song, if I’m upset, I listened to something to relax me, and if I’m stressed, I will listen to something to remind me of a good memory from the past. Music is a good outlet for me.


I almost cried Thursday because of music. It sounds pathetic, but I was going to full-blown cry like a child due to what I think was frustration.

I went to school in a fog just trying to tell myself that only two more days remained. The night before, I had a dream that I turned on the radio in my car and listened to music by accident, and I woke up feeling guilty until I realized it was only a dream.


I drove up from Levittown, Pa., which is approximately 45 minutes away, to Main Campus to sleep over my friends’ house. The entire car ride consisted of silence, even through a traffic jam, which made my ride even longer.

Of course I could hear music in the other cars, which yet again, brought back my craving.

I longed to hear a Rihanna song so badly–I felt like an addict.


I woke up Saturday morning knowing at approximately 12:01 a.m., I would be able to listen to my iPod. I thought to myself, “If I get through today without going utterly insane, I will have had no music in my life this whole week.”

I went through withdrawal, frustrations and irritations. But at least I can say I conquered this challenge.

Hope Kumor can be reached at

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