Songs about school: A fun, motivating back-to-school playlist

school study playlist motivation
Brianna Luna/Staff

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It can be hard to get motivated after a summer away from work. Plus, if all you’ve been listening to are road trip songs and beach day playlists, you probably need to get your head in the game for this semester. The perfect remedy is to listen to songs about school and learning! What better way to get in the right mindset for note taking and midterms?

“ABC” by The Jackson 5

If you’re going to listen to a back-to-school playlist, you’ve got to start at the very beginning. That’s right — the ABCs. Young Michael Jackson will teach you everything you need to know about the alphabet in this fun, classic song. If you need a good song to motivate yourself before a test (or even just to push yourself to start working), this is the perfect one! 

“We’re Going To Be Friends” by the White Stripes

Now that you’ve gotten excited for the semester, the stress may be setting in. This is the perfect song to remind yourself of how fun it can be to make new friends and have peaceful walks to class. Although your peaceful walks to class are now a little shorter (think kitchen to bedroom), this song still has the perfect amount of nostalgia to make you feel excited about school. Jack Johnson’s cover is also a really good listen, if that’s more your vibe.

“Beauty School Dropout” by Frankie Avalon (from the movie “Grease”)

I’m not sure if this song is inspiring or somewhat depressing. On one hand, it’s great to chase your dreams, and sometimes that requires dropping out of school (or withdrawing for a semester). On the other hand, the thought of dropping out of school and then regretting it is terrifying. Regardless, this is a great, chill and slow song that’s fun to listen to. Feeling a little lazy and unmotivated? This song will sink you even deeper into that mood, but in a good way (hopefully).

“Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd

Feeling sick of classes already? Professors giving you huge assignments after lecture? Your midterm is a week after the first day of classes? This the perfect song to get out a little anger from all the frustrating parts of school, and to inspire you to branch out from the conformity required for some of your classes. Maybe not the best song for getting motivated, but for releasing tension after a quiz? Definitely.

“Get’cha Head in the Game” from “High School Musical” 

What are you doing? Your midterm is in five minutes, and you’re still on TikTok? Good thing you have just enough time to listen to this song and pump yourself up to focus. For some people, this song can feel super nostalgic, but it’s also a fun song to help yourself get excited! 

“Fifteen” by Taylor Swift

Well, turns out you didn’t get your head in the game fast enough and your midterm didn’t go so well. “Fifteen” is just what you need to feel a little moody and sad about school and all your memories of when you didn’t start studying for tests a month early. College is a time of a lot of firsts, and this is a great song to start the beginning of your year.

“Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” by Paul Simon

Great vibes and a great song for chill studying (if that ever happens, which, for me, is about once a semester). Then again, maybe playing cheerful music is the key to having more fun study sessions. When Simon sings, “Well I’m on my way, I don’t know where I’m going,” it feels like a very apt way to describe how I feel about some of my classes. 

“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield

This is the perfect song to encompass the writer’s block that pops up every time you have a new essay. This song won’t exactly help you to put pen to paper, but if you need something to affirm your choice to procrastinate, this is it. It’s also a great metaphor for feeling a little unsure about where the coming semester will need you! If you need some life motivation instead of work motivation, give this classic 2000s song a listen.

You must be ready to start the semester, now that this music has inspired you to start working! We at the Clog wish you a great semester, one filled with great music (hopefully about something other than school).

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].