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The Student Guide to Music During Finals Week

Image courtesy of Career Addict

By Maisy Sullivan

Finals week is brutal every semester. Since students are remote due to the pandemic, this time can be even more stressful than usual. With the looming exams, papers, and projects brooding over students, coping with stress is something  every person should learn how to healthily do. Listening to music is a common coping mechanism, and there are songs for every mood. When it comes to finals, there are three major emotions one may feel: exhaustion, stress, and depression. Listening to the right music can help  uplift or even reverse these emotions. While everyone has a different musical preference, there is always something for everyone.

Staying up late doing homework and studying for tests can drive anyone to pure exhaustion. Last minute cramming during finals week plus stressing over grades is the perfect formula for sleep deprivation. On those all-nighters, with a large coffee in hand, you will need some pump-up music. To counteract being tired, listening to slow music will make you more drowsy, so it is important to get hype! Rap and rock are perfect for a tired student, as it gets adrenaline pumping. “Man of the Year” by Juice WRLD is the perfect song to not only wake you up, but also uplift you. It is all about accepting flaws and acknowledging accomplishments, while still being upbeat and fun. “Element” by Pop Smoke will boost your confidence and make you feel unstoppable. Learn the lyrics then sing it like you’re unstoppable, trust me, you won’t be tired anymore. Blast any favorite rap or rock song, scream it, drink that coffee, and ace that final. 

Stress can make you feel like you can’t get anything done. When students work as much as they do during finals week, sometimes it is beneficial to take a little breather from the work. To wind down after a stressful day, calmer music is the best to turn to. Vibe to some slower songs. “Mississippi” by Kevin Abstract is relaxing with its ethereal synths throughout the song. Along with Kevin Abstract, Frank Ocean is THE artist to turn to if serenity is the goal. A majority of his music tells a story with beautiful vocals, lyrics, and composition. It is relaxing to be able to listen to a song with a story. My request would be “Nikes.” Another calming type of music is “slow and reverb” songs. On YouTube, virtually any song you like has a slow and reverb version, where it is slowed and pitched down to create a more calming listen. Even the most energetic of songs can be relaxing in this form. Listen to LoFi when you need to focus! To ease stress, make sure to take care of yourself and take breaks to calm the mind from the chaos.

The combination of stress and exhaustion leads to the most deteriorating feeling of finals week: depression. There is nothing positive about being overwhelmed, so counteracting sadness with happy music is the best way to go. Songs with inspiring and cheerful melodies and lyrics can brighten a depressing mood instantaneously. Anything upbeat works, and one of my favorite happy songs is “Why” by Dominic Fike, solely based on how catchy and peppy it is. Feeling down on oneself is an awful feeling, which calls for motivation. “Give Yourself a Try” by The 1975 is all about having faith in yourself, while stopping your self doubt. This song sends a message of not sweating mistakes one has made in the past, and moving on to overcome them. It is the perfect message for a depressed college student! Even if these songs aren’t appealing to you, there are thousands of other happy songs to be found. Another great way to make yourself smile is listening to throwback songs like “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani or “Beautiful Soul” by CUA’s favorite, Jesse McCartney. When depression hits, make sure to be aware and do things to make yourself feel better, rather than dealing with tears.

With the emotional rollercoaster that is finals week, everybody needs to find something to look forward to enjoying. Music is the simplest thing that can make such a difference. Regardless of music taste, find the right songs to put you in positive moods in times of exhaustion, stress, or sadness. Make the most of the overwhelming workload with music.

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