It doesn’t really matter how old you are: When September nudges its way onto the horizon, the thought of going back to school fills otherwise rational human beings with a crazy mixture of excitement and dread. (I imagine this is how some feel on their wedding day.) This is so ingrained into each of our minds that, even with a good few years of distance from the classroom, one’s heart still flutters at the thought of what comes after Labor Day. (That’s true for me — and I liked school!)
And is it just me, or does school start earlier every year? So many schools are moving to a year-round system that these September-induced butterflies may soon be a thing of the past. In a weird, twisted way, that’s a shame. I sort of like the knee-jerk experience. It’s like wearing an invisible badge of courage, proclaiming: “Yes, I survived!” (In my case, I survived 12 years of Catholic school, but that is an entirely different kind of survival experience. Bear Grylls has nothing on us Catholic school survivors.)
Whether you are headed back into the thick of it (Algebra? Good luck with that!) or can count such trials as a thing of the past, here’s a playlist honoring the love-hate relationship with school. “Be True to Your School,” The Beach Boys implore, while Pink Floyd warn, “Hey, teachers -- leave us kids alone.” Elsewhere, MC5 sing of the action-seeking high school kids who “have to get their kicks before the evening’s done.” It’s all here, and more, in Rhapsody’s Songs for Going Back to School playlist.