Ah, the good old days. Before all-night study sessions took over our lives, and responsibility became more than cleaning out the dishwasher five minutes before Mom got home from work. The days when you would grab your iPod from your backpack (iPod Touch in my case), plug in your ear buds, and look out the car window like you're in a dramatic music video. The days when life was easy, simple, and controlled not by an iPhone but that good, old iPod Touch. The only way to truly reminisce about the good old days, though, is to be taken back into the colorful universe of your iPod playlist from middle school.
"Firework" - Katy PerryGiphy
"Baby, you're a firework." Don't ever let yourself believe you're just a "plastic bag floating through the wind" because you are POPPIN'. One of the most motivational bops of the good old days.
"The Edge of Glory" - Lady GagaGiphy
A long song that really didn't mean anything to me back then, but I knew Lady Gaga as the meat-dress lady at the time and that was a weird-cool person for middle-schoolers to be a fan of. It made you a little individualistic, a little rebellious, and a little popular to be a Lady Gaga fan. (Side-Note: I am a BIG fan of Lady Gaga now - her music and the person she is!)
"Someone Like You" - AdeleGiphy
Middle school was when Queen Adele released her "21" album and gave us the ultimate list of car-window-music-video songs, especially the everlastingly popular "Someone Like You."
"Good Feeling" - Flo RidaGiphy
Had a good day at school? Talked to your crush? Going to a slumber party that night? Finally the weekend? If your middle school-self answered "yes" to all of the above, then you probably started blasting "Good Feeling" as soon as your mom picked you up in the carpool line.
"Who Says" - Selena GomezGiphy
The Disney queen, am I right? I don't remember a single middle school girl not head-over-heels supportive of Alex Russo and her budding music career. Especially when she released a bop that made every girl feel beautiful no matter if their crush checked the "yes" or "no" box on the locker note.
"What Makes You Beautiful" - One DirectionGiphy
And in middle school, One Direction (and my subsequent adoration for them) was born. This song was the beginning of One Direction, and I still blast it as loud as I did back then.
"Put Your Hearts Up" - Ariana GrandeGiphy
The start of Ariana's career... maybe it wasn't her best song, but it was her only song during the good old days. That being said, it was a must-include on my middle school playlist.
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" - Kelly ClarksonGiphy
I don't know about you, but I was dramatic in middle school, and this song was the perfect mix of dramatics for any long car ride. It also helped to build your confidence back up at the end of a bad day when you got called-out for passing notes in class. Hey, the embarrassment didn't kill me, so I guess it just made me stronger?
"Dynamite" - Taio CruzGiphy
I listened to this song TOO much... to the point that I actually started to hate it... Nevertheless, it remained on my playlist for the entirety of middle school, haunting my dreams.
"Just The Way You Are" - Bruno MarsGiphy
This song made me want a boyfriend who would serenade me with this song. It had that empowering vibe that a lot of the songs from the good old days did, but it was also just so cute.
"Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae JepsenGiphy
The VIRAL song of the good old days. This song took off, making Jepsen somewhat of a one-hit wonder, but man, it was a bop. It was on every middle-school playlist, the soundtrack to every music video you and your friends made, and the "Renegade" dance of the good old days.
"Radioactive" - Imagine DragonsGiphy
The song that introduced me to my love for alternative music. It topped the charts, meaning everyone was listening to it, even though it was so unique from the everyday jams of the good old days.
"Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. WanzGiphy
The song that your parents made a face at when you started playing it out loud. The song that confused your grandparents. The song that made you next-level cool if you could rap it. That's what it meant to go to the thrift shop with twenty dollars in your pocket.
"As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Beiber feat. Big SeanGiphy
Just like with Taylor Swift, it was a rite of passage for a middle-schooler to either like or dislike the Beibs. But regardless of what opinion you expressed out loud, there was no doubt that the newest Beibs' song was on your playlist. At the very least, you had to listen so you could have an opinion of whether or not the "Baby" singer sounded like a baby (of course, I don't think like that anymore, but middle school opinions can be scathing).
"Gangnam Style" - PSYGiphy
All I can say is... LOL. What a great way to end the playlist. I can still remember being on a class field trip, someone blasting this song, and all of us breaking out in a flash mob. So, so embarrassing, and yet, this song got added to my playlist shortly after and we kept on dancing to it.