Get Psyched: The 10 Songs that will Revolutionize your Midterm Productivity

"Now, people often think a good mix should rise and fall, but people are wrong. It should be all rise, baby. Now, prepare yourselves for an audio journey into the white-hot center of adrenaline. Bam” — Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother, (season 1, episode 11, “The Limo”)

I don’t think I could possibly disagree with anything that Neil Patrick Harris says. But this isn’t (entirely) about the unrequited love I have for Neil. This is about that hour you waste making your own get-psyched mix. This is about your academic success, your future. The future. So, without further ado, here are the ten songs that will take you into the white hot centre of midterm adrenaline. “Bam.”

1. “Kool Thing” — Sonic Youth

"I just want to know, what are you gonna do for me? I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls from male white corporate oppression?” This one has a clear message. A distinct thesis. Coherent thought. Take that energy and channel it.

2. “Mind Over Matter” — Young the Giant

"I missed that train, New York City — it rains!”

Nothing like a little pathetic fallacy, am I right? This is a banger for when in your heart, mind and the grades tab of onQ, it rains! It also sounds as if it's screaming at you at one point, which, when you’re on your third hour of scrolling through Instagram, might be for the best.

3. “Homemade Dynamite (Remix)” — Lorde (feat Khalid, Post Malone, SZA)

I’m going to be extremely forward here and say that Lorde making explosion noises at the end of this song is what you must hear upon entering heaven through the pearly gates. It’s also just all in all (I can’t believe I made it to song #3 without saying this) a bop to get you psyched for some academic success.

4. “Power Lines” — Telekinesis

Think Cage the Elephant meets one guy and his synthesizer. This one starts slow and explodes, similar to your productivity once that triple espresso kicks in. Also, “batten down the hatches and man the sails, the war isn’t over it’s not even tipped the scales” is a great motto for then you want to compare your two hour midterm to a heroic navy wartime adventure.

5. “Now or Never” — Mumm-Ra

I think these guys really hit the nail on the head with “I’ve got a head full of reasons, but nothing to say,” if they were in fact, talking about writing that essay that’s due tomorrow and lacks a thesis. Similar to “Mind Over Matter,” this one comes off a little like they are yelling at you to do it “now or never!!” So, if fear-based motivation works for you, download this one.

6. “Work Out“ — J. Cole

"She bad and she know it” is the energy you should carry with you everyday. Honestly, this is on this list because it’s groovy as heck and says "work" a bunch of times. Psychologically speaking, the sheer volume of the work messaging must count for something. Get ready to get your work out of the way.

7. “Sweet Talk” — Saint Motel

“You're probably not aware that I'm even here, well you might not know I exist, but I don't even care!”

This is, if I’m analyzing it correctly, an ode to that prof or TA whom you really idolize and just must impress with your 500 word analysis on Plato’s Republic. Ideally, this sentiment motivates you to get it done and most certainly not to do some werid little desk dance (I never do that).  A massive thank you to Sara Harvey, one of Carleton’s finest, for this one.

8. “Everything Back But You” — Avril Lavigne

This one is to prove you can never truly stop being 13. When Avril tells us of a postcard written by an unworthy boy which reads, “I wish you were her” and that the aforementioned boy “left out the 'E,' left without me,” she does a couple of important things. She incites a sort of feminist anger that will certainly get you riled up to study. She also tells you that it is important to know how to spell.

9. “Gotta Get Away” — The Black Keys

"I went from San Berdoo to Kalamazoo just to get away from” my politics essay.

This captures your mood when you will do literally anything else before you even consider the task at hand. However, I am pretty sure the man in the song regrets this kind of escapism, so keep that in mind. The Black Keys go so unbelievably hard in this one. So should you.

10. “Work from Home” — Fifth Harmony (feat Ty Dolla $ign)

"You gotta put in work, work, work, work, work, work, work.”

I’m sure you’ve thought of playing this one while you’re getting ready to head out on a Saturday night, but what about at your desk with an entire pot of coffee on a Sunday morning or late afternoon? Time to actually work (work, work, work, work, work, work). Maybe tack a couple more works on there. You’ve got this.