20 Songs for the School Year

Mid-September has rolled on through again, which means one thing for most of us—school has begun. It’s a time for mourning, but also for celebration. Here are twenty songs to encapsulate your school year.

- Sep 20, 2012

Mid-September has rolled on through again, which means one thing for most of us—school has begun. It’s a time for mourning, but also for celebration. It’s also a time for us to make a list that encapsulates your very eventful school year through the power of song. Listen below for the highs, the “highs”, the lows, and for all of the pizza you’ll be undoubtedly eating.

Moving out of the house and into the city

After months of searching, you’ve found the perfect basement apartment for 300 dollars a month plus utilities, which is only minutes away from campus. Your roommates are a guy who has random people coming and out of his room with brown paper bags and your childhood best friend who you found out likes to walk around everywhere in a towel. Goodbye home, hello new adult life!

Dirty Projectors – “Temecula Sunrise”


Sharon Van Etten – “Give Out” 

Sharon Van Etten - Give Out


School’s starting music

If you're just starting, it's overwhelming. If you're returning, it's exhilarating, whether you want to be there or not. But you'll never make it through another year of school unless you know how to “frizz the quad” i.e., effectively compartmentalize every social and academic stress you'll be flooded with in the first few hours. How? Simple. When things are bad, blame the administration, and when they're good, it's 'cause you're King Shit. Simple.

Vampire Weekend – “Campus”

06. Vampire Weekend - Campus


The Smiths – “The Headmaster Ritual”

The Smiths- The Headmaster Ritual


Idealized trip to the bar

You have a recurring fantasy—you enter the bar with fedora and scarf looking rad as hell, receiving free pitchers because you are rad as hell, and all of your professors are there getting shit-faced, promising you A’s for being rad as hell. Cue choreographed dance to the jukebox, etc.

Holograms – “Chasing My Mind”

Holograms - Chasing My Mind


Mac DeMarco – “Rock and Roll Night Club”

Mac Demarco ''Rock And Roll Nightclub''



Eulogy for frosh week friends you don’t talk to anymore music

We're told that if you miss frosh week, you'll never make any friends in university, and eventually be found dead in your closet with an Elliot Smith vinyl spinning off the needle. This is horseshit. You'll never be more desperate to make friends than when you're dropped in a new environment, so in all likelihood you'll spend your first three weeks with the first people you can hold a conversation with, regardless of whether or not you have anything in common with them. So for all those friendships that were built of a foundation of fear, here's some tunes to play them out.

Thee Oh Sees – “Hey Buddy”


Diiv – “Past Lives”

DIIV - Past Lives


Feeling post-everything after learning new concept most people don’t know

It’s the second week of first year and all of a sudden you know who Foucault is—you can feel the knowledge inside of your brain growing. You briefly consider dropping out, but you quickly realize that what you’re actually learning is that you don’t know anything at all.

Kendrick Lamar – “Fuck Your Ethnicity”

Kendrick Lamar - Fuck Your Ethnicity


Mount Eerie – “Through the Trees pt. 2”


Kick your new rival’s ass music

Eventually there's going to be a “Debbie” or “Clive” that enters your life. An academic or romantic foe that wants to cut you down. Pshh. Are they kidding? You just bought a gym membership and you're halfway through Infinite Jest. And that book is super long! They might have the upper-hand after getting a better grade on the last paper, but you've got three great points to bring up in class about the readings next week. Congrats, you both are the two most hated people in your program.

Jai Paul – “BTSTU”

Jai Paul - BTSTU (Edit)


Death Grips – “Bitch Please”

Death Grips - Bitch Please


Late night learning

If secondary education is known for anything, it’s for trying new things. Unfortunately, you probably can’t do this during actual school hours, because of exorbitant tuition costs. But at the very least you can try out every pizza joint in your area at four in the morning and discuss the merits of each place’s toppings, cheese consistency, sauces, etc. You’re very high.

Ducktails – “Pizza Time” 

Ducktails - Pizza Time.mov


Animal Collective – “Chocolate Girl”

animal collective - chocolate girl


First/second/third big crush music

This is the one. Look at that face. That smile. That car, which you could probably get a lift in every morning for class instead of waiting for the bus in the snow. For your hot, throbbing pursuit of the moister things, you'll need to get in the right frame of mind. The romance one. Try these tracks.

Levek – “Girl in the Fog”


COOLRUNNINGS – “I Can Be Dreamy”



Bloodshot, All Night Essay Writing

It’s 2 A.M., you’ve written 300 words out of 2500 on your final essay of the year on the implicit ties between post-structuralist, post-Obama, and post-sandwich theory. The paper is due today at 3 P.M. The only thing you can do is attempt to approach a trance state and conjure something otherworldly from inside yourself in order to get the much coveted ‘B-.’

Swans – “The Seer”

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – “Sleep”

Godspeed You Black Emperor - Sleep


School’s ending music

Already? Yeah, dude. You're holding your diploma and waving goodbye to that girl you never had the courage to ask out who's moving to Africa to work on water purification. Time to get your shit together and ask your parents for a loan, because you have a printmaking degree for some reason.

Beach Fossils – “Youth”

Beach Fossils - Youth


Tame Impala – “Solitude is Bliss”

Tame Impala-Solitude is Bliss


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