When I think of the back-to-school season, I can’t help but get a bit cringey and reminisce about the old but gold (and overly depressing) pop punk bands that I listened to religiously when I was at school. So here you go – the song of this month, aka my go-to song for back to school (when you're literally a guy from the “How do you do, fellow kids” meme) is I’m Just a Kid by Simple Plan. This may or may not unlock a memory you never thought you had (I’m sorry but not really) but this song, catchy, rebellious, and old-ish, screams school to me, like nothing else. And it got TikTok famous again not so long ago, so it’s still around.


Summer Daze by Slowdive is so dreamy and melancholic – that’s how late summer sounds to me. This time of year somehow remains special even years after graduation, when there are no classes to prepare for, and evokes new hopes and dreams.


Truth be told, I love school (unpopular opinion?). My high school (or rather its Russian equivalent) was an old red-brick Hogwarts-like building surrounded by chestnuts and neighboring a 12th century church – so every walk to an early morning class in the fall was pure dark academia inspiration. And I lived for it, carefully choosing songs that would accompany me on the way. They then supported me on my strolls to the National Library of Russia, a perfect study spot near ITMO’s Lomonosova campus, by the way. Over the years, I’ve come to learn that nothing beats Somewhere Only We Know by the dreamy Keane in putting me in the right mind for learning in the still warm golden days of early September. And I can’t help but recommend this tender cover by dodie and Adam Melchor for that special note of autumnal romance.


I’m pretty happy with my adult life, but there are a few songs that make me nostalgic about my school days, too. One of them is the House of Gold by Twenty One Pilots that became the hymn of the first month of my final year of high school. Its cheerful ukulele tunes played non-stop on my tiny walkman, keeping me awake on my way to school and filling my heart with excitement about the new academic year and what it’s going to bring (except for the feeling of despair during geometry classes).