If you’ve seen the musical “Rent,” you’ve likely heard the lyrics “Measure your life in love.” Well, I don’t exactly measure my life in love. I measure my life in concerts.

I feed off seeing my favorite bands perform live. In the year of 2014 alone, I’ve been to five different shows, excluding the music festival Lollapalooza in August. I love seeing the countdown on my phone, proclaiming “___ days until this concert!” I love being in the pit of the crowd and dancing around to all my favorite songs. Most importantly, I love being in an enclosed place with talented musicians a few feet in front of me.

Just because I’m back at college doesn’t mean my obsession with going to shows is ending. In fact, a few weeks ago, I ventured back to my hometown of Cleveland to see my favorite band of all time, Twenty One Pilots. For the fifth time. Oops.

Seeing that the show was scheduled for a Thursday night, this trip would require meticulous planning. First, my friends and I had to leave Erie early enough to reach the venue on time and miss rush hour, but late enough that we were able to attend all our classes for the day. Secondly, we had to drive two hours to Cleveland, fueled on sheer friendship, Dr. Pepper and Teddy Grahams. Lastly, we had to be up and out of my house – where my friends and I were crashing for the evening – before 8 a.m. so we made it back to Erie in time for our 10 a.m. class. Yikes.

Even though this road trip was bit of a tight squeeze time-wise, it was definitely worth it. Not only did I hear a ukulele rendition of Ace Hood’s classic “Bugatti,” but I also witnessed Josh Dun do a back flip off of a piano. Additionally, I conquered my fear of heights and sat on my friend Tyler’s shoulders for part of the show so I could see the band better. I’m grateful I didn’t fall off or else that would have led to an unfortunate crowd-surfing incident.

It was really nice to go home, even if the duration was just a little over 12 hours. It was especially awesome to share an experience with old and new friends alike. Nothing really brings people together quite like standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the pit like a can of sardines.

Going to college doesn’t mean you have to stop doing things you love. It’s a matter of prioritizing and maintaining a balance between work and play. Quite frankly, you should keep on doing the things that make you happy no matter what, especially in college. The fact that you’re a student shouldn’t stop you from following your passions. After all, Vampire Weekend front man Ezra Koenig once said, “Never give up on your dreams.”