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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePauw chapter.

College is a great time for socializing and new experiences, but it is also a time to focus on academics. It is important, especially during midterm weeks like we are in now, to utilize your time wisely. You can do this by knowing how you learn best. 

Everyone has different styles of studying. Some people can study at a busy coffee shop, while others need absolute silence to concentrate. Growing up, I had always heard that listening to music while studying would distract you from focusing. However, I have found that I enjoy studying more when I’m listening to music. I have more fun, can study longer, and do not get burnt out as easily. 

As we all know, being a student at DePauw requires you to spend a large amount of time studying. So, I’ve been experimenting with the music I listen to so that I am able to effectively learn and retain information. I’ve discovered that I learn best by listening to songs that I already know. If I listen to music that I’m not familiar with, I spend my mental energy trying to figure out what song is being played. Quite a few people listen to instrumental or classical music while studying, but I find it to be distracting for me. 

So, let’s dive into it. Is listening to music while studying a good thing or bad thing?

Benefits to music:

  • Soothing music can reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Background music can help focus your motivation 
  • Music producing a positive mood can boost memory retention

Drawbacks to music:

  • Music with lyrics can prevent you from absorbing information or being efficient and reading and writing
  • Studying with music makes it harder to test without music

Just a few reasons are listed above. There are many arguments for both sides, and studying is different for each person. For me, I still continue to listen to music with words while doing homework. Overall, I find it better for me, even if it may be a little more difficult to completely focus. It may be the opposite for you, and that is perfectly fine. Knowing yourself and what you need is important to discover, and college is the perfect time to do that.

Hey, I'm KP! I'm in the class of 2025 at DePauw pursuing my interests in business through the Management Fellows Program. I write for the Features section of DePauw's HerCampus.