FDOC is just around the corner. Luckily for you, here are not one, but two playlists that will carry you through the semester — from the anticipation of returning to the University all the way to rushing across Grounds to make it to your 8 a.m. and everything in between.
Get energized to return to Grounds with a back-to-school playlist:
Back-to-school season is upon us — and with the excitement of moving back to Grounds and shopping for fresh school supplies comes the responsibility of classes. Whether you’re excitedly counting down the days until move in or dreading the return of studying and exams, this upbeat playlist will get you hyped for the delicious anticipation that is the back-to-school season.
“ABC” by The Jackson 5
This classic Motown Records hit is guaranteed to put anyone in a sunny mood. It will also bring back the school mindset, with its quick review of elementary school basics and its lesson on “how easy love can be.”
“September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
Though classes officially start in August, the month of September will forever evoke back-to-school memories. More importantly, the namesake song’s “ba-dee-ya”s produce enough serotonin to get even the most reluctant student excited for September to begin.
“Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)" by Doja Cat and SZA
Just because school is starting doesn’t mean you have to let go of summer forever. Keep the summer vibes alive a little longer by keeping to this fun TikTok hit in the rotation.
“Sunday Best” by Surfaces
The back-to-school season can sometimes feel like one long Sunday — though the beloved summer break is ending, you’re on the precipice of exciting new beginnings. This song offers unparalleled good vibes to begin the week and the school year.
“successful” by Ariana Grande
Listen to this laid-back melody on repeat to manifest yourself a successful semester.
“Remember This (NBC Olympics Edition)” by the Jonas Brothers
Take this song into the school year as a souvenir of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. Also, use its lyrics — “Yeah, we’re gonna wanna remember this / It’s once in a lifetime you can’t miss” — as a reminder to enjoy and cherish every moment of this upcoming year.
“Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige
For the more hesitant students, let this song give you some reassurance that your life will be “just fine” despite classes starting.
“Bulletproof vs. Release Me” by The Outfit
What better way to get in the college spirit than with a mashup from arguably the most iconic college movie of the past decade? This “Pitch Perfect” throwback has the perfect amount of musical build up to hype you up for class to start back up again, and provides the important reminder to be “bulletproof” against whatever challenges you may face this year. The “Pitch Perfect” nostalgia may even inspire you to join an a capella group this semester too.
“The Dog Days are Over” by Florence + The Machine
In the vein of a school sneak preview, here’s a quick lesson — did you know that the phrase “dog days” refers to the hot summer months? Though this indie pop song carries a deeper meaning relating to domestic violence, it can also serve as hope for a brighter year ahead.
“I’m Ready” by AJR
Let this undeniably cheery bop remind you just how ready you are to return to Grounds this semester.
“Levitating (feat DaBaby)” by Dua Lipa and DaBaby
This is another summer hit that deserves to stay in the mix and help you ease you back into the busier days of the semester. By the time the chorus hits, you’re sure to be singing along to “I want you babe” and dreaming of the University.
“College Kids” by Relient K
Although the lyrics aren’t the exact message anyone wants to relate to — hopefully you aren’t questioning your decision to attend college — this anthem’s undeniably catchy tune alone is sure to hype you up for your own college experience.
“Countdown” by Beyoncé
With a powerful backbone of trumpets, count down the dwindling days before moving in with this Beyoncé hit.
“The Good Old Song” by University of Virginia Cavalier Marching Band
What better way to get ready to go back to school than by renewing your good old fashioned school spirit for the University? Soak in the nostalgia of years past and get excited for a hopeful return to the stadium and other beloved University traditions with this classic tune.
Plus, a timeless playlist for trying to beat the clock:
This year, students will appreciate the mad dash to in-person classes more than ever before. Nothing quite beats the rush of adrenaline one gets before walking into a full, silent lecture hall with a coffee in hand and a required textbook left at home. It’s a nostalgic stress, and we sure missed it. This crazy process, however, is incomplete without a soundtrack. Get your feet shuffling faster with some beats that are moving just as erratically as you are. Here are a few songs to add to a sweet, stressful run to New Cabell.
"Bunny is a Rider" by Caroline Polachek
This song is the predecessor to full-blown, tardy-induced panic. The optimistic beat might even convince a student that UTS will get them from dorms to the center of Grounds just in time. Caroline Polachek’s summer release of this single was incredibly well-received, unlike excuses from late students. This track earned her a spot on frequented Spotify playlists like “Pollen” immediately after its drop on social media. Polacheck told Pitchfork the concept of bunny is “slippery, impossible to get ahold of.” Exasperated professors may feel the same about a student’s constant absence. Even still, this song is an easy way to get tired feet moving and grooving to the beat.
"Running Away" by VANO 3000, BADBADNOTGOOD, Samuel T. Herring
Not only is this song appropriately named, it’s incredibly recognizable. This Adult Swim soundtrack rose to popularity on TikTok not long ago, including a creative trend that offers solid advice and the TV program’s hidden logo. This lengthy version includes Samuel T. Herring repeating, “Time. Time. Time.” This will help students get a move on like nothing else can. His voice represents the seconds ticking by in the most melodic way possible. Herring’s voice, as well as this whole track, encourages both running and facing the facts — everybody is late now and again in life.
"Calling U Back" by The Marías
An incredible wall of sound is created by The Marías in this seductively overwhelming track. The beat ebbs and flows, fading in and out at just the right times. In short, it won’t allow any students to get too lost in the music on their continued rush to class. The lyrics project an unabashed confidence that can’t help but catch on. “I can do anything” — might this include making it from the bottom of 14th street to Clark in 10 minutes?
"RUNITUP" by Tyler, the Creator, Teezo Touchdown
If you’ve heard any of the songs above, there is no doubt this new hit from Tyler, the Creator has graced your queue. With another aptly named track, the likeliness of getting from Point A to Point B simply increases. The beginning is a near pep talk from Tyler himself, setting the scene for a boost in both speed and confidence. Verses featuring Teezo Touchdown solidify the theme of success. Don’t be so surprised if your feet stop making contact with the concrete — RUNITUP will send you to the heavens. Death by Baudelaire.
"The Look (MGMT Remix)" by Metronomy, MGMT
Don’t let this song's underwhelming beginning fool you. “The Look” has been remixed to perfection in this synth-heavy version. The classic song by Metronomy has been influenced by MGMT to become a dynamic playlist hit. It’ll make students feel like they’re running through a cheesy '80s movie in a disturbingly good way. “We’re always running ‘round this town.” They meant Charlottesville, right?
"One of the Girls" by Otha
This song is a slow-burn, but Otha lays it all on the line in “One of the Girls.” The sleepy lyrics give a persistent beat its deserved stage. This track also continues the theme of time — and more specifically — not having enough of it. Students and professors alike can surely relate to this concept. Maybe we even treasure it after being stuck behind closed doors.
"Jargon" by Fade ‘Em All
Bring it home with the loud, disruptive track that is “Jargon.” Fade ‘Em All shouts his way through this hodgepodge of sound and percussion in a way that surprisingly gets the job done. At the very least, it’s a definite way to get the blood flowing. If listeners thought the initial percussion was a lot, get ready for the guitar that shoves its way through the messy sonic landscape towards the end.
By now, hopefully frantic students will be breathless and seated in a lecture hall. Hit pause and do it all over again the next day — it’s all part of the college fun.