Playlist: Like It’s 2003

Instead of writing in a journal or putting together photo albums, I make mix CDs. The titles aren’t clever — just the month and year and maybe a short note — but they’re a perfect record of my life. If I want to remember what it felt like to be me six years ago, I can put in June 2005: Going Home, which is what I was looking for when I found July 2003: This Whole Summer Is Yours and played it instead.

The disc doesn’t actually say “This Whole Summer Is Yours” because I couldn’t tell her that yet, but that’s the original title. It was my first full summer in California, and I know you didn’t ask but I need to tell you that even though I eventually moved to the east coast in 2005, absolutely nothing could’ve dragged me back across the Mississippi River that year. It was really pretty perfect. So maybe you can relate to that feeling or maybe you just needed a good excuse to listen to that Bowling For Soup song again.

*Jack’s Mannequin has been added for its perfect fit and overall effect, you understand.*

Like It’s 2003: This Whole Summer Is Yours

via hugh holland

I’m A Fool – American Hi-Fi
Blinded [When I See You] – Third Eye Blind
Come Clean – Hilary Duff
First Date – Blink 182
Girl All The Bad Guys Want – Bowling For Soup
My Friends Over You – New Found Glory
Addicted – Simple Plan
Bleed American – Jimmy Eat World
My Paper Heart – The All-American Rejects
California – Phantom Planet
Where Is My Mind? – Pixies
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker – Ramones
Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels
Absolutely (Story Of A Girl) – Nine Days
Seether – Veruca Salt
Swing, Swing – The All-American Rejects
Dark Blue – Jack’s Mannequin
Be My Escape – Relient K
3 Small Words – Josie and the Pussycats

 You can listen to the playlist, except for that Blink 182 song, on Spotify now! Or you can stream the entire mix via 8tracks.

Add your favorite mix tape tracks in the comments below.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit up Crystal on Formspring and someone on the team will make it for you.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack: most underrated thing ever? Also, the movie.

    • Agreed. I love everything VS, but Resolver and IV (the albums without Nina Gordon) rock sooo hard.

  2. I used to be the biggest Relient K fan (read: slightly disenfranchised Christian girl who thought she was being a rebel listening to Jesus-fueled pop-punk) as a teen. I saw them at a Christian rock concert where I got head-butted in the face in the mosh pit (which I accidentally found myself in). Now I kind of want to barf when I think about them.

    Also, I love “Story of a Girl,” and I decided to love it even more when I found out the lead singer of Nine Stories is now a high school English teacher. I hope that he teaches something like “The Bell Jar,” and I hope that he somehow finds a way to work the lyrics to that song into his lesson. Lulzlulzlulz English humor.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you Laneia. I am about to go back to high school, as a teacher this time. To make this feel OK I listen to the songs I had in my head 7 years ago, like “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” and “California” and my personal favorite Blink 182 song, “Josie.”

  4. I love those songs that are like a time capsule and just bring you back to whatever time/year/day you associate them with.

    This playlist reminds me of just plain early 2000s, which is the majority of high school for me, which might be why it has all run together in my mind.

    2003 seems like it was so long ago, or is that just me?

  5. This playlist forced me to get a little bit drunk by myself and read old journals from high school, and for that, I thank you Laneia.

  6. Wow, this actually was my 2003. Minus the Hilary Duff. I feel like I should listen to this tonight while drinking cheap beer.

  7. This mix is amazing. I probably made a similar CD in 2003. I remember having a lot of feelings about blink 182 and NFG around that time.

  8. oh my GOD I remember when the Hilary Duff CD came out and I begged my grandma to take me out so that we could buy it. Not that I could buy it with my own money because I was too young and I had no money.

    Wow, I remember all the lyrics to this song. What even.

  9. This mix is perfect. I was (am?) in love with all of these songs…this could have been a mix CD from my own spectacular summer in 2003. Thank you so much, Laniea.

  10. This playlist is seriously a crazy time machine. I still have a vivid memory of my best guy friend in high school drunkenly singing that Hilary Duff song. And “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” was practically the theme song of my first girl-crush. Yeesh.

  11. Fantastic. Third Eye Blind is a jam.

    I’d add: Something Corporate. Definitely “If U C Jordan” for complete accuracy, then throw in “She Paints Me Blue” and “I Woke Up In A Car” and “I Want to Save You” for can’t-remember-which-year, I think 2004.

  12. Wow Third Eye Blind and All American Rejects really got me back then. 3EB was my first live concert. Thanks for the flashback!

Comments are closed.