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Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Back to school blues

Your playlist for the fall semester

<p>Phoebe Bridgers’ “Scott Street” is the quiet reflection on a relationship gone past.&nbsp;</p>

Phoebe Bridgers’ “Scott Street” is the quiet reflection on a relationship gone past. 

Summer has ended and school is back in session. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the changing seasons and reinstated responsibilities that come with the fall semester. But one is never alone in the feeling of these scholastic scaries.

Here’s five songs to perfectly capture all of one’s feelings on the return to courses and credits:

Scott Street 

Phoebe Bridgers

An ebbing wave of a song, “Scott Street” is the quiet reflection on a relationship gone past — the nostalgia, the soft ache, the slowly creeping healing that is to come. It’s the perfect song for when the whims of summer die down and one is left with only memories of warm rays, laughs by the campfire and the ache of bones after a day spent running and playing.

The chime of bike bells and train whistles in its outro will be sure to lull you into a welcome contemplation on re-entering the real world as classes begin, homework rolls out and you say your farewells to the small freedoms of June and July. 

As Bridgers sings, “Anyway, don’t be a stranger,” the goodbye to summer will hurt a little less.



With the opening lyrics, “I’m anxious, pacin’/ Thoughts are racin’,” any student is sure to relate to this Wallows song. 

Another failed love song, “Quarterback” — unlike “Scott Street” — presents its audience with an upbeat and all-too catchy sound. It’s the bubbliness of nerves on the first day of classes, the excitement of starting something new and the uncertainty (and excitement) of what’s to come.

It’s the perfect track to listen to on the morning commute to class with its day-brightening tune and easily relatable lyrics. 

Tongue Tied


“Tongue Tied” is a classic, with its instantly recognizable synthesizers and beginning shout that feels like the beckoning of a memorable Friday night to come.

This song is the encapsulation of all the good energy that is back to school — the youthfulness of college, seeing one’s friends again, preparing for football games and parties. 

It’s a reminder to not let the seriousness of scholastics weigh you down — to enjoy the time you have and to spend it having fun (on top of studying).

The lyrics, “Take me to your best friend’s house/ Goin’ ‘round this roundabout,” are the screams of young adulthood and the last tendrils of warmth left in September nights.


Taylor Swift

A quintessential song of autumn, “Cardigan,” is the sound of leaves falling on the ground, the crunch of their dried yellow and red bodies beneath sock-wrapped feet.

It’s melodic and hypnotizing, like the fall breeze that sweeps in to clear out the heat of summer and bring in a nippy chill lined with wafts of a decaying landscape.

Swift’s line, “And when you are young, they assume you know nothing,” is sure to resonate whether you’re a freshman or a senior. It’s the sense of understanding your own growth while still appearing too young for a world maturer and older. 

If You Want To


“If You Want To,” is the kind of song to play at the start of an indie coming-of-age movie — pertinently youthful and thoughtful with a touch of meditated angst that comes in one’s late teens and early twenties.

Its pre-chorus “Bed bugs in my mind/ Keep them all alive/ Insomnia creeps at night/ Sleep paralysis till I die,” perfectly encapsulates the overworking mind of the school-fueled student. 

It’s a song of late nights and tentative beginnings, just like the fall semester. 

Kara Anderson is the senior arts editor and can be reached at



Kara Anderson is a senior arts editor at The Spectrum. She is an English and Spanish double major and is pursuing a certificate in creative writing. She enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies, procrastinating with solitaire and binging reality TV on the weekends.  



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