Imprint Playlists: Back to School 


“Oom Sha La La” by Haley Heynderickx

Haley Heynderickx is a beautiful songwriter and musician whose song, “Oom Sha La La,” artistically describes how it feels to be an anxious yet hopeful university student. I strongly relate to the lyrics, because it communicates the desire to create and accomplish and achieve, and the struggle to do this in the face of what often feels like a bitter, restrictive, pessimistic world. If you enjoy indie, acoustic, singer-songwriter pop, you may enjoy Haley Heynderickx’s music. 

— Remy Leigh, Arts and Life Editor

“The Turning of The Gears” by Warbringer

I can’t think of any other song that perfectly describes not only how the idea of coming back to school makes me feel, but my experience here at UW as a whole 🙂 
— Eduardo Matzumiya, Head Copy Editor

“Wherever I Live” by Alessia Cara

I listened to this song when I moved into REV in first year, and I think it worked so well to comfort myself and my fears of moving into a new place because of its lyrics about making a home wherever you are. It’s a simple but effective message, and I hope any incoming or even returning students can find that song that helps them feel like things will work out, even for a little bit. Cheers!

— Alicia Wang, Editorial Assistant


This was the 2019 Math Dance song at my orientation. Even today, when I hear the song, I can’t help but groove to it as I remember a fairly distorted version of the 2019 orientation choreography. This song marked the beginning of my university journey and will always hold a special place in my heart.

— Abhiraj Lamba, Managing Editor

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan

Okay, this is a weird one, I understand, but there is a reason behind my madness. For me, this song is a perfect expression of the chaos and confusion during the process of becoming an adult and getting through all the utter madness that life throws your way. Getting back to school always feels like the beginning of a new, crazy (but fun) chapter. Hence why I listened to it three times a day (at least) in my first term. 

— Charlie Dickson, Opinions Editor

“Close to the Sun” by TheFatRat

This was the song I listened to when I arrived for my first class during my first year at Waterloo. It became a tradition of mine to listen to this song on my first day back attending class. It is a nostalgic part of my experience at Waterloo.

— Maahir Sheikh, News Editor

“Oxford Comma” by Vampire Weekend

Nothing feels quite so “back to school” to me as Vampire Weekend’s preppy, indie-rock tunes, especially from their self-titled first album. “Oxford Comma” might not actually be about grammar, but it’s a fun, upbeat song that brings to mind memories of chilly fall mornings, steam curling off hot drinks and meandering walks through campus with friends. 

— Nicola Rose, Reporter

“Fifteen (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

The first verse captures all those nerves and excitement you feel whether you’re a first year or it’s your first day back on campus. This song makes you look forward to the new school term, taking it all in, and figuring out who you are. 

— Jia Chen, Head Designer

“Maniac” by Stray Kids

This is a song I listen to on my way to classes because it gets me hyped up and gives me a little boost of confidence for the day. This song is primarily about people who defy the world’s “ordinary” social norms. The song itself celebrates the quirks that make us unique. Instead of concealing that aspect of ourselves, it encourages us to be our “true” selves. 

— Mahnoor Irfan, Assistant Head Designer

“Alley-Oop by Dazy Chain, Lone Waves 

This alternative/pop song is great to listen to studying or walking to classes.

— Nicole Howes, Science Editor 

“No Regrets” – MAGIC!

A little nostalgia at the beginning of something new is always recommended, whether that’s a new term or a new school. This song always makes me feel a little hopeful for the future – a reminder that no matter what’s happened in the past, the future’s gonna be okay. 

— Sharanya Karkera, Creative Director