Journal staff’s eighth grade jams

The songs we belted in middle school

Journal staff look back on their favourite throwback songs.

Eighth grade is the peak of adolescence, marked by overwhelming amounts of uncontrolled hormones and coloured braces. While most of our lives now are wildly different compared to how they were in middle school, one element will always remain the same: the quality of your favourite early 2010s banger.

Here are the songs The Journal’s staff were jamming out to way back in eighth grade.

“I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz

In elementary school, my favourite teacher spent various music classes teaching my class every word of this upbeat bop. In eighth grade, this song became my grade’s unofficial anthem—no field trip or class picnic was complete without a class-wide rendition. I still know the lyrics by heart to this day and can’t help but sing every single word when I hear it play on the radio.

—Ally Mastantuono, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

“Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus

In eighth grade, I went to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah party every single Saturday night where the same songs always played. My friend’s older sister suggested we make up dance routines to all the songs that played regularly, so we wouldn’t look awkward dancing to them. Everyone had their own dance routine to “Party in the USA,” and I still imagine all of them every time the song plays.

—Samantha Fink, Features Editor

“You da One” by Rihanna

I’ve been through every musical phase out there. I’ve headbanged to Paramore, brooded to Frank Ocean, and cried with Carrie Underwood. The one artist I’ve carried with me through all these phases—likely because her own sound has evolved consistently over the years—is Rihanna. I spent the last year of middle school bumping the singer’s reggae-tinged hit “You da One.”

While I cringe looking back at most of my eighth grade choices, I don’t regret a single one of the 132 times (iTunes says) I jammed out to this repetitive smash.

—Josh Granovsky, Lifestyle Editor

“What the Hell” by Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne’s “What the Hell” came out when I was 13, triggering an obsession with eyeliner I still have today. The song’s perfect mix of angst, rebellion, and existentialism was all I needed to kick off my miserable teen years.

Despite some concerning scenes of auto theft and irresponsible driving, the music video was sexy and fascinating to the emerging adolescent in me, beginning my journey to thinking about female sexuality in a positive way.

—Raechel Huizinga, Assistant News Editor

“California Love” by Tupac

While growing up, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by older family members who nurtured my love of old-school R&B and rap music. As such, my eighth grade jam was none other than Tupac’s “California Love.” Later that year, I was given the golden opportunity of a lifetime: to DJ a school dance. The song was an instant hit and I’ve never doubted the value of musical education since.

—Jasnit Pabla, News Editor

“Cross My Heart” by Marianas Trench

Eighth grade was a weird time—everyone was getting ready to leave behind peaceful elementary lives for the looming chaos of high school. I remember spending a lot of time listening to a bunch of punk rock with my friends because we thought it’d make us cooler and prepare us for high school. It didn’t. But the song still never fails to fire me up.

—Maggie Gowland, Assistant Sports Editor

“Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO

This song hardly needs to be explained to anyone, as the lyrics of this perennial bop are etched into the minds of any and all who went through puberty in the last decade.

This song introduced what I like to call the “shuffle-era”— a time when two brave young men, Redfoo and SkyBlu, shuffled into the hearts of millions of tweens and gave them a sense of belonging through the power of dance.

—Angus Merry, Digital Manager 

“Thnks fr th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy

Best. Emo. Pop. Song. Ever.

—Tegwyn Hughes, Copy Editor

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