Top 10 Best Songs to Study To During Midterms

By Alicia Geigel on March 6, 2018

It’s that time of the semester again, where sleep becomes a luxury and your new home is the library. Yes, I’m talking about the anxiously anticipated and highly dreaded midterm season. Can I call this a season? By normal standards of what constitutes a season, probably not but midterms do feel like they are apart of their own separate period/season within the semester, so I’m going to go ahead and call it a season. Midterms for the most of us are a reminder that you can have three exams and two large papers due all in one week and still have work to do over spring break.

Preparing for midterms just about takes over our whole life as the two to three-week period of non-stop studying, eating and sleeping becomes our new mantra. The content of the exams and perhaps our lack of being prepared for being tested on that exact content is surely a struggle, but before you can even get to test day, there are plenty of struggles to deal with.

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One struggle, for instance, is your sleep schedule. During midterm season, it becomes hard to maintain some semblance of time management in our lives. As a result of this, we develop unhealthy patterns of sleeping as a means to compensate for the lack of appropriate time to study during the inadequate 24 hours in a day. Though it may seem like the right idea to skip a couple hours of sleep that you desperately need in order to memorize the next deck of flash cards, science actually calls your bluff on this one.

According to a study referenced by Jacqueline Howard of the Huffington Post, “All else equal, students who generally got a good night’s sleep performed better on exams. The grades of students who slept seven hours each night during the exam period were nearly 10 percent higher than those of students who got less sleep.” So instead of getting the normal two hours of sleep during midterm season, listen to the many voices of reason out there and catch some well deserved zzz’s.

Another struggle we students deal with during these high-stress times is a proper playlist to get you through your study cram sessions. I don’t know about you, but for me, music is a huge part of my daily routine. Upon getting up in the morning, the first thing I do is grab my earbuds and start playing music from my highly numbered and oddly sporadic Spotify playlists. Music is a great tool that can be used in many ways; it can motivate us, calm us, inspire us, boost us, etc. In terms of studying, it is super important to have a playlist (or a few) to accompany you as you read and memorize line after line in your textbook.

I’m sure you may be thinking, “Alicia, how important really is music while I study?” Well, according to existing scientific research, it has a meaningful impact on your overall retentiveness of information as well as your mood and stress levels! In a blog post featured on The Science of People written by Danielle Baker, she notes, “Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. Since music is so widely available and inexpensive, it’s an easy stress reduction option.”

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As you can see from existing research as well as your own personal experience, I’m sure, music has a profound effect on the human mind, so it’s important to keep music around during the times when we’ll be using our mind the most! So, now that we know the effect that music has on our overactive brains, it’s time for me to share with you, my top 10 songs to listen to while for midterms.

1. “Don’t Give Up” by Washed Out

2. “Paradise” by Wild Nothing

3. “Disappearing” by The War on Drugs

4. “Intro” by The XX

5. “Awake” by Tycho

6. “London, After the Rain” by High Highs

7. “Your Hand in Mine” by Explosions in the Sky

8. “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me” by Fleet Foxes

9. “Finally Moving” by Pretty Lights

10. “Sunshine” by Little Dragon

The songs listed in the playlist above are of different genres and may seem a little random, like my music taste. What is consistent about the songs on the playlist I provided is the overall ambient, calm, weightless kind of feeling each of them gives you when you listen to them. The most important element for me when listening to music when I study is to be relaxed yet not too distracted so I can work to my best ability. These songs not only lower your blood pressure, but they also maintain a peaceful yet positive mindset that is imperative during study sessions. What are your top 10 songs to study to? Let me know; as always, good luck!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
social justice advocate, avid lover of 90s fashion, the proud mama of a yorkie named "nugget", feminist, body positive, weight trainer in progress, classic rock fanatic, and reality TV addict! if you want to learn more about me, visit my profile and check out my articles!

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