Exam time has a way of sending us all into a tailspin; a never ending cycle of worry and dread. Arguably, this can affect the way we concentrate and function, causing the cycle to continue. While some students get by on the ‘Ps get degrees’ mentality, others place greater expectations on themselves and strive for higher results. But no matter who you are or what your ambitions, stress affects us all and the pressure of exam block can be draining.
A wise person once said, “where words fail music speaks.” As humans, we enjoy connecting with others and talking over our problems. But perhaps there is another remedy. Perhaps where our words lack the ability to sooth our stressed minds, music may relieve the burden. Where words fail, music may heal.
Like I said, the end of semester is stressful. Due dates are creeping up on us, finals are just around the corner and all the while winter is bearing its cold soul, making the morning grind that much harder. Fear not! For here is my playlist of five songs to get you through to the holidays!
No 1. Mr Brightside – The Killers
I know what you’re thinking! How is a song about a particularly painful and traumatic heartbreak supposed to help me through exams? While yes, the song is about the loss of romantic love, it maintains a sort of survivor’s anthem vibe; a tone that pop culture has long since immortalised. It pumps me up, it brightens my day and makes me think, ‘well if someone can make it through a heartbreak so severe, I should be able to pass my exams’.
No 2. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, trumpet cover
You know when you’ve had a hard day at the desk, you’ve got an exam in the morning, your brain is fried and yet you can’t sleep!? I promise this song is what you need. The song itself, for me is quite nostalgic. The Wizard of Oz is one of my all-time favourite movies and this song reminds me of a simpler time; when my greatest worry was if the Wizard would get Dorothy home. And while life isn’t as simple as it once was, this version of the song does help me sleep even after the gloomiest of days. The soft trumpet provides calm and comfort to sleep my stress away.
No 3. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
I know not everyone loves Taylor Swift, but you’d have to be verging on psychopath to not want to jig to this song. This one is my pre-exam pump up! You just need to shake everything else off, know you are ready for whatever the lecturer throws at you and be okay with the result. Plus, the video clip gives me massive endorphins – enough said!
No 4. Mermaids – Jinja Safari
So, it’s essay time! This song for me is great to get the creative juices flowing. Its not too pumping, it’s not too slow. It sits somewhere in the middle, with just enough spark to stimulate your brain, without creeping into ‘prepping for a marathon’ territory. And just in case you’re wondering, all the music from this group is EXCELLENT!
No 5. Here Comes the Sun – George Harrison
And finally, a classic. This genius George Harrison composition was first performed by the Beatles on their Abbey Road album. If you ask me, it is timeless. Some songs never die, and this is one of those pieces. Quite apart from that, it is calming. It reminds me that while things seem hard and stressful now, all things must end. And in the famous words of Harrison “It’s alright”.