So you’re going to college and you still haven’t figured out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Or maybe you’re returning and still find yourself aimlessly navigating through campus without a clue of what or who you want to be. It’s OK. Contrary to belief, no one has it figured out in college or beyond those four plus years. And while we don’t have the answer to how to find meaning or passion in a future career, we do have some of the best podcasts to listen to in these formative years.
The Pod Save network from Crooked Media, is arguably the most valuable college essential podcast company. It consists of Pod Save America, Pod Save the People, and Pod Save the World. If you’re tired of being ignorant to what’s going on in the US and the rest of the world, I suggest you tune in. The podcasts present a weekly roundup of all the events and issues taken from the headlines and Trump’s Twitter feed and dives into them in a no bullshit or frills conversational format. Crooked Media founders and co-hosts of Pod Save America Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor were also President Barack Obama’s former top staffers. Pod Saves the People is hosted by activist, organizer, and blue vest wearer DeRay Mckesson and his cohorts, where they discuss the topics that don’t make it to the forefront of the 24-hour news cycle. Pod Save the World is a foreign policy section hosted by former White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor who takes you behind the scenes of the top-secret discussions and negotiations across the world with the people who were there. Amongst these three Crooked Media podcasts, it would be hard not to stay informed in the daily interworkings of our country.
Yeah, you grew up with the Internet but can you confidently say you understand the Internet? Created in 2014 by host PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman on the Gimlet Media, Reply All explores the Internet and technology from the lives of the people who are affected by it. Past episodes covered the origins of the INVCEL community, which was created by a queer woman from Canada or the story on Zardulu, the artist credited for the possibly staged videos like the famous Selfie Rat. The show also has segments where they explain complicated memes in their, Yes, Yes, No segment. In their Super Tech Support episodes, they attempt to solve listeners problems like a lost tortoise or a person’s home being wrongly listed as the destination of the “locate my phone” tracking feature. The show is perfect for those who are tired of answering their parent’s tech and Internet questions, even though they too are puzzled by topics like Pizzagate.
3. The Read
The Read is a weekly podcast where host Kid Fury and Crissle give a pop culture rundown of the foolishness of celebrity shenanigans. The show acts as an “on-air therapy session for two friends trying to adjust to life and rats in the big city”, while also being an outlet for the two to incessantly stan over Blue Ivy and her mama Beyonce. The show has a listener letters section where they answer questions and the read where they give a “fuck you” to the person(s) or things that pissed them off most. The show is currently expanding to cover mental health tips since both hosts suffer from their own bouts of mental health issues. The Read is a black culture staple that I wished I had around when I was in college in the Midwest. If you’re black and find yourself in a sea of whiteness while away for college, this podcast will soon become your safe space.
Freakonomics Radio takes all the questions you most likely asked your search engine and explores them through the lens of economics and statistics. Yes, we know that doesn’t sound interesting but it’s wildly fascinating in that introspective, yet playful sense of understanding yourself and the world. Stemming from the book that shares the same name, journalist and author Stephen J. Dubner hosts the weekly podcast. Each week he speaks with entrepreneurs, social scientists, and sometimes his co-author and economist Steven D. Levitt on topics ranging from the obligation adult children have in paying back their parents to who has ownership over the words you speak.
Entering a new phase in your life, like college, can be daunting. So any connection to your roots can be comforting and help ease the transition. LeVar Burton Reads has been dubbed the Reading Rainbow for grownups, which at its surface follows the same formula. However, Burton handpicks and narrates a favorite short fiction piece, mostly verging on the science fiction genre from his times on Star Trek. This isn’t some Audible style narration, but rather a fully animated narration filled with soundscapes and sometimes computerized and robotic dialogue, if needed, to help bring the stories alive.
Dominique is a creative based in Miami. Her interest lies within the intersections of blackness and health; two topics she feels are rarely discussed together. When she's not working on her many side hustles, she can be found spying on her neighbors.