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Just Keep Studying

Allie Tollaksen | Wednesday, October 9, 2013

As this week progresses and quickly (too quickly, in my opinion) comes to a close, I realize have spent the last four days in a constant half-sprint, running from class to class, clutching onto my coffee cup so tightly it’s as if the cardboard Starbucks cup is not only a source of caffeine, but also the one and only thing holding me in a standing position for the time being. And I know I’m not alone: every friend I’ve run into on campus in the last few days has given off a ratio of panic and exhaustion only found at this time in the semester – midterms.
Unlike finals week, when classes are over, study days are handed to you like precious gems, you’ve already made impressions on your professors and you only have a grade hanging in the balance, midterms has none of these luxuries. Instead, midterms time is a chaotic mess of papers, projects, proposals and exams that test our minds and time management skills alike.
So, in order to cope with the madness that is the pre-Fall Break midterms, we lock ourselves in our favorite study spaces, throw our headphones on, crank up our favorite study playlist and get to work. It wasn’t until recently, when clicking around Spotify, that I realized how little consensus there is in what constitutes “study music.” As I shamelessly discovered my friends’ study playlists (I mean, they were public), I saw collections of soothing folk and guitar songs, classical concertos, Icelandic music medleys and everything else you can think of. Whatever floats your boat also scores your study session, I guess.
When it comes to my study playlists, I like to take the advice given to me in my Introduction to Psychology class freshman year and study to music without words. I’ve paired organic chemistry with electronica and calculus with movie scores. But one day, for some reason the “Pride and Prejudice” soundtrack was no longer doing the trick.
Naturally, my reaction to this predicament wasn’t to turn to 8tracks or Pandora and go back to my studies. No, that would be far too easy. Instead I decided to spend as much time away from my schoolwork as possible and create an entirely new, entirely lyric-less and entirely genre-confused playlist of study music from which to pick and choose for all of our study needs. I hope these suggestions bring everyone as much focus as they’ve taken away from me. With that, I wish you all good luck on your midterms.
Contact Allie Tollaksen at atollaks@nd.edu
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. 

1.) “A Walk” – Tycho
2.) “Blue In Green” – Miles Davis
3.) “So Far To Go” – J Dilla
4.) “Intro” – The xx
5.) “Blue Monk” – Thelonious Monk
6.) “Avril 14th” – Aphex Twin
7.) “Palmistry” – Tabla Beat Science
8.) “Thursday” – Takénobu
9.) “Tick Tock” – from “The Man with the Iron Fists” instrumental soundtrack
10.) “Montreal” – Kaki King
11.) “Happiness” – Riceboy Sleeps
12.) “Sparkplug Minuet” – Mark Mothersbaugh