It’s that time of year again! Boxes, filled to the brim with various items, shopping lists, and new purchases scatter the rooms of students all across the country. No, it’s not the holiday season; it’s back to school! Although summer vacation is one of the most enjoyable times of every student, packing up to move back to Auburn is a huge relief to every stir-crazy college student. Going back to the daily grind of lectures, essays, and projects isn’t exactly ideal, but the social gains of being back on campus far outweigh the scholarly negatives. The first couple weeks of school provide every student with the opportunity to ease back into education. Parties will be taking place all over, as each fraternity tries to establish their reign over the frat castles of campus and the bars aim to gain a better reputation amongst the student population.
It’s moments like these when life calls for a soundtrack—music to get you in the mood to study and relax or party and socialize. Luckily, Her Campus is here to help the modern-day collegiette get back in the zone for another year on the Plains! Here are the must-have songs to carry you through the start of the fall semester, from letting loose and getting crazy to chilling out and getting focused.
1. Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa
Although this song isn’t exactly new, it’s definitely needed on your back to school playlist. Wiz has created his third college anthem (also good playlist additions: No Sleep and Young, Wild, and Free), this one almost more applicable to the life of the average student. With all the social activities that take place the first weeks of the semester, it’s easy to forget why we’re actually at school. In true Wiz-approved fashion, remember to work hard in the classroom (where it really matters most) and play hard on the weekends. After all, you should graduate with a diploma and a lifetime of memories, not just the latter.
2. Up All Night: One Direction
It’s no secret that I’m a massive 1D fan so they are definitely on my list! Even though these boys appear younger, they’re actually college age and have the right amount of free-spiritedness to amp your party mood. The title track from their debut album is the perfect song to get you ready to stay up all night. With fun, catchy lyrics and a danceable beat, Up All Night is a perfect party song that is a total must-have for back to school.
3. Swagger Jagger: Cher Lloyd
After finding success on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor (fun fact: she was on the same season as One Direction!), Cher has burst onto the scene with her spunky break-up song Want U Back. Her latest single Swagger Jagger is an even sassier take on Keri Hilson’s hit Pretty Girl Rock and is totally on the fall semester playlist. The song is all about owning who you are and shaking off the haters, which is definitely an attitude every collegiette needs! With a feisty beat, Swagger Jagger is a song that will get you hyped in a minute!
4. Good Time: Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen
We’re never going to be able to escape Carly’s mega-hit Call Me Maybe (not that you really want to, if you’re being completely honest), but at least this semester we’ll have something different from the Canadian pop star to add to the mix. This collaboration with Owl City is a great song for just hanging out with friends or getting ready to go out with its party-centered lyrics and even catchier rhythms. Both artists may not be the strongest singers in the world, but they sure know how to pick a hit song.
5. Everybody Talks: Neon Trees
Not only is this song seriously addictive and incredibly fun, there’s a message in this tune, too. Lead singer Tyler Glenn’s unique voice takes a minute to remind us that rumors get spread quickly because, as the song is titled, everybody talks. There are two lessons to this situation that ever girl needs to remember going into the semester. One: be careful what you do, because someone is always going to say something about it. If you don’t want to hear about it tomorrow, don’t do it tonight; second: people will talk either way, so do what will really make you happy! With that reminder, this song is perfect for a night with the girls or at the bars.
6. Wanted: Hunter Hayes
Hunter Hayes is like the male Taylor Swift—his voice may not be super strong, but he too has the knack for writing relatable songs. Wanted is a fantastic song to relax or study to, with its slow beat and sweet lyrics. This song also comes with a reminder: while there are plenty of douchebags in the college world, but there are still those who understand how to treat a girl. While you’re testing the waters with a guy, make sure he wants to make you feel wanted. And if he doesn’t, at least we have Hunter.
7. The A Team: Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is another gift from the British musical gods. His voice is undoubtedly one of the best male voices in recent years, and on top of that he has an incredible talent for songwriting. Why we’ve never heard of Ed Sheeran before is beyond me, but once you listen to The A Team you’ll be craving more. Although the song is about a homeless addict, Ed spins his words in a way that makes you forget the depressing subject matter. His voice is an ideal one to have playing in the background on a lazy afternoon or an evening at the library. Actually, his album + is a must-have to your study playlist, and luckily the deluxe version of the album is super cheap on iTunes—only $9.99!
8. Hall of Fame: The Script
In my opinion, The Script is one of the best indie-pop bands on the planet. The Irish trio’s newest single completely deserves a spot on this list because of Danny O’Donaghue’s rich voice and the relaxing beat of the music. will.i.am has a guest spot in this track, making it a great song to have playing in the background during your lazy days of studying or hanging out. Plus, the lyrics are incredibly inspirational—the group takes a minute to remind us to achieve our dreams if we keep going strong, a great message for every struggling college student! Unfortunately the single isn’t available on iTunes here in the US, but YouTube comes equipped with a repeat button!
9. Be Alright: Justin Bieber
Justin’s album is so perfect for your fall semester soundtrack that I could really put almost every track on the playlist. Be Alright is my personal favorite song off Believe—it showcases his raw vocal talent as he delivers sweet love song lyrics. There are no distracting clichés and he’s without the cheesy lines of Boyfriend, making it a great song to study to. His beautiful voice will ease you into study mood, or just give you something to smile about.
10. What Makes You Beautiful (Acoustic Cover): Boyce Avenue
As much as I love the original song, Boyce Avenue’s cover of the One Direction hit What Makes You Beautiful is almost better than the original. Lead singer Alejandro Manzano’s voice is pure gold on this track—he brings truth and beauty to the mainstream lyrics, bringing the popular song to a more appreciable level. With an acoustic sound is that is near perfection, this is an undeniable must have to your back to school playlist!