51 Clutch Songs For This Back-To-School Season

As August draws to a close and September sneaks up upon us, those of us who are slaves to the academic calendar find summer ending a little early and school beginning again. I personally start my second year of grad school today, and while I hate to part with the carefree, homework-free vibes of summer, a new year of learning and teaching brings its own excitements. To honor that, a playlist of songs saying goodbye to summer, to summer romances, and to places we spent our days; and hello to early autumn, to new classmates and friends, and to stress and fear and melancholia and all those other terrifying feelings that go along with pursuing your dreams. To my fellow students, teachers, and the like—go forth and start trying to get your shit together.

We’re Going To Be Friends – The White Stripes

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

Science Vs. Romance – Rilo Kiley (Personally, I’ve always chosen romance.)

Gypsy – Fleetwood Mac

Road To Nowhere – Talking Heads

A New Wave – Sleater-Kinney

Help I’m Alive – Metric

I Can’t Keep You in My Mind – La Sera (An ode to anything you’ve been asked to memorize.)

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon

Suspended From Class – Camera Obscura

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac (Advice re: choosing a course of study. Seriously.)

Pedestrian at Best – Courtney Barnett

Zorbing – Stornoway

Good Bye Good Luck – Thao

Solid and Strong – Kimya Dawson

Still Sane – Lorde

Hand In My Pocket – Alanis Morissette (Remember: everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine.)

VCR – The xx

Help I’m Alive – Metric

Penny Licks – Lady Lamb

Middle Of Nowhere – Hot Hot Heat

Name That Thing – Chumped

Coffee – Chumped

School Spirit – Kanye West (Kanye, like Mark Twain, “never let [his] schooling interfere with his education.”)

Good Morning – Kanye West

All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem

Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party – Courtney Barnett

High School – Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne

Fly – Nicki Minaj, Rihanna

To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High) – Ryan Adams (This one is perhaps especially poignant if you, like I, happen to go to school in some place like Colorado or Washington)

Dear Summer – Memphis Bleek, JAY Z

Git Up, Git Out – OutKast

(What A) Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

Going Away To College – blink-182

See Also
person in white shirt with brown wooden frame

I Can – Nas

Float On – Modest Mouse

Oxford Comma – Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend, the eternal schoolboys of indie music.)

Campus – Vampire Weekend

Giving Up The Gun – Vampire Weekend

Do Better – Say Anything

This Year – The Mountain Goats

Jude Law and A Semester Abroad – Brand New (AKA “how not to react to your significant other studying abroad”)

Something Good Can Work – Two Door Cinema Club

Popular Song – MIKA, Ariana Grande

This Will Be Our Year – The Zombies

Don’t Let Me Get Me – P!nk

Every Day I Write The Book – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

French Navy – Camera Obscura

Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken – Camera Obscura

The Freshmen – The Verve Pipe (Here’s hoping this song actually bears no relevance to your college experience.)

Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest

View Comment (1)
  • Loving the juxtaposition of “French Navy” and “Don’t Let Me Get Me”! Just a friendly heads-up, though: you have “Help, I’m Alive” on there twice. It skews a bit indie for my personal taste, but I love a great themed playlist! Good job :]

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