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viewpoint

A musical remedy

| Monday, February 22, 2016

Life can get rough sometimes. It’s no one’s fault, but that’s the reality we live in especially as Notre Dame students. We’re constantly stressed over getting our assignments done, competing for summer internships and juggling extracurricular activities with having a healthy social life.

I admire how much work some of the people I know put in on a daily basis. Many go to class from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., have work afterwards, and finally, head to the library for a four-hour study session. It’s pretty incredible when we sit back and think about it.

But, again, that’s life.

Here are my two cents on how to make life just a little bit easier. For many of us who think there isn’t a way out from the pressures of being a college student, pull out your headphones, plug them into your ears and let the music take you away.

Create a nice playlist of songs that you know can put you in a zone outside of reality and listen to it for about 30 minutes a day. Lay down and close your eyes while the tunes fill your head, or take a walk around the scenic parts of campus as you listen. I am a firm believer that music is the the perfect remedy for relieving stress and easing people back into a clear state of mind. How are you going to do anything well if you’re not thinking straight or feeling comfortable with yourself?

We can’t forget that we’re just human. A lot of our lives revolve around being productive academically and career-wise, and after a while, it can become a monotonous routine that can bog our minds down. Instead of falling victim to the pressure, we have to find moments when we can remind ourselves that life is much more than tests and fluffing our resumes.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that we should take the foot off the pedal and stop looking for ways to excel in those things, but if we can just sit back and find ourselves through something as soothing as music, we won’t be as drained at the end of each night.

After four straight classes the other day, I got back to my dorm, pulled out my laptop and immediately started working tirelessly on the three different essays I have due in the next couple of weeks. Then, I shifted my focus to a research proposal I’m presenting next month for a summer project I hope to receive a grant for. As soon as I wrapped that up, I put my jacket on and headed out for a three-hour shift at work. I was mentally strained by the end of the night, but instead of letting it linger, I put my headphones on and listened to Ed Sheeran.

I listened to “The A Team,” “The Man” and “Bloodstream.” During that 12-minute span, I forgot about everything that had happened that day, the worries subsided, and my mind was at ease.

That’s just my version of how I used music to soothe the headaches of the day. Everyone has a couple of songs or playlists that they know can do the same for them. Use them more often. Music is, without a doubt, one of the most accessible remedies out there, so put down the Advil, plug the headphones in, and let the good vibes take you away for a bit.

Contact Manuel De Jesus at mdejesus@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Manuel De Jesus

Manuel De Jesus is a junior from Chicago, Illinois. He is an American Studies major with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He is currently covering ND Volleyball, Men's Soccer and Men's Basketball.

Contact Manuel