Even if the weather is getting slightly more bearable as the days go on, walking to campus every day can take a toll. Thanks to an unfortunate sprained ankle, I’ll be avoiding the trek, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know the frustrating feeling of being so bored of your music that you end up walking to campus alone with your thoughts rather than listening to “Boy’s A Liar pt.2” for the 23rd time that day. Enter podcasts: The undeniable sign that you are becoming an adult. So, keep reading for some recommendations that will last you from Mile Endto McLennan.
For podcast novices
If you’re a total podcast newbie, welcome—and don’t worry, you are in good hands. A great place to start, and where I personally started with podcasts, is WNYCs Radiolab. Radiolab started as a radio broadcast and is now available in podcast format, exploring various topics related to science, philosophy, and politics. They have some riveting longer series, such as The Other Latif which chronicles Radiolab host Latif Nasser’s attempt to retrace the story of one of the world’s only other individuals named Latif Nasser, who is detainee number 244 at Guantanamo Bay. If you’re not ready to commit to a longer series, they offer really interesting and incredibly random, one-off episodes, such as “The Helen Keller Exorcism,” which is not about an actual exorcism—but will totally change the way you look at Helen Keller.
For pop-culture fanatics
If you’re interested in popular culture, you should check out Sounds like a Cult. Each week, Isa Medina and Amanda Montell sit down and explore different cultural trends through the lens of a cult to shine a light on the modern-day cults we all follow. A few particularly good episodes were the cult of Trader Joe’s—guaranteed to blow your mind if you’re a frequent shopper back in the States. The cult of Elon Musk was also very insightful. Overall, the hosts’ humour and intelligence mesh wonderfully, making it feel like you’re walking to campus while listening to your friends.
For PoliSci bros
If you’re a PoliSci bro in one of my conferences and have been having a hard time reaching your mansplaining quota of the week, do not worry, the Council on Foreign Relations has got your back with weekly episodes.The World Next Week is a podcast where hosts Robert McMahon and Carla Anne Robbins discuss significant international affairs events and offer important insight into how the international political community functions. The “Why It Matters Podcast” hosted by Gabrielle Sierra also offers important insight and interviews expert guests on topics such as water scarcity or the future of Africa’s population boom.
For the aspirationalists
If you’re a student who is on the verge of being the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg, maybe ABC News’ The Dropout, hosted by Rebecca Jarvis, will make you change your mind. This incredibly well-researched and produced podcast perfectly details the story behind Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, the alleged youngest female billionaire. And if you want to learn more after finishing the podcast, Disney+ released a miniseries by the same name, which does a great job of bringing the story to life.
For future fraudsters
If you finished The Dropout and your interest in scammers and fraudsters peaked, allow me to introduce you to Scamfluencers. Hosts Sarah Hagi and Scaachi Koul unpack different stories of the very best influencer-scammers. The Hollywood Ponzi scheme series follows Zach Horowitz as he creates nearly a $650-million-dollar Ponzi scheme involving fictitious licensing deals with HBO and Netflix in order to support his own acting career, and reveals how he eventually gets caught. Bonus points for the Canadian hosts making references to Canadian culture that make me feel like a true Canadian, despite having only lived here for less than three years.