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Music is a huge source of support for me when I need to clear my mind. I’m sure that when it’s time for exams, many students rely on music to improve their moods. Regardless of the genre and timeline, we can always find music that resonates with our emotions. This is a short playlist I created to help you relax while you shoulder final exam stress.

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” - Justin Timberlake, Trolls

This song is my jam! Whenever it came on the radio during a car ride with friends, I was always grooving along to it. The lively melody and positive lyrics contribute to putting a smile on your face and pushing you to demonstrate your dance moves. The music video also brings joy, as it includes happy people dancing without care. When you’re stuck while studying for exams or fretting over your marks, just play this song and allow yourself to be happy and feel positive!

“We’re All in This Together” - The High School Musical cast and Drew Seeley, High School Musical

Is it really unexpected if I include a Disney reference? Even if you don’t know the lyrics to the entire song, I’m sure we all know when to chime in when the famous line comes in, “We’re all in this together!” This song is a prompt - as I’ve mentioned in my previous midterm article, “Wisdom for Your Terrifying Midterms During Halloween Season” - that all of us students experience exam stress, so don’t believe that you solely are struggling with finals. If you need help or someone to talk to, confide in your family, friends, professors, peers and/or the various education resources at Ryerson University, such as Study Skills and Transition Support.

“Something Big” - Shawn Mendes, Handwritten

The main takeaway of this song is to understand that bigger success is in store for you if you aspire to fulfill your dreams. When you’re studying, it may feel like you won’t make it through finals, but remember that exams are just a stepping stone in your journey to complete the program you chose and work toward a job you know you’ll love. When it comes to final exams themselves, you can’t lose the motivation to review. Otherwise, the possibility of spectacular results is unattainable.

“Dreams” - Cassie Steele, Patterns

Despite having seen episodes of Degrassi, I didn’t realize Cassie Steele could sing - incredibly, in my opinion - until I found this song. The melody, rhythm and Steele’s voice all blend to offer listeners a soothing vibe. Similar to “Something Big,” this song also encourages pushing forward through hardships, from the viewpoint of Cassie Steele as the protagonist.
When I was listening to the song for this article, one line particularly caught my focus: “I don't want to live my life as less / Than what I know it is.” Whenever I’m wishing friends good luck for assessments, I always tell them that what’s most crucial is that they put their full effort into the assignments or exams. You don’t want to have remorse that you could have succeeded further if you had tried more to study, so reconstruct your desires in your mind as you listen to this song.

“Cheap Thrills” - Sia (ft. Sean Paul), This is Acting

I have danced to “Cheap Thrills” quite a few times at parties. You can’t help but want to bop and party on the dance floor with your best friends as this plays on speakers. While it may be time for final exams and you should give it your all, you still need to ensure you’re having fun and not being consumed by studies. Take some time to chill with your family and squad and enjoy your hobbies, such as dancing. Like I mentioned in “Wisdom for Your Terrifying Midterms During Halloween Season,” you can’t properly concentrate if you neglect your wellbeing. 

“Let It Go” - Idina Menzel, Frozen

I had a couple of other Disney songs in mind but knew “Let It Go” needed to be included in this playlist. If you’ve read my personal piece, “How Self-Love Boosted My Mental Health This Spring,” I mentioned how I depended on my grades to measure my abilities and self-worth. Remember that your exams don’t determine your value, or how hardworking and intelligent you are. While it’s difficult to not experience worry during finals, realize that dwelling in your anxiety will distract you from final exam preparation and worsen your ability to do well on the exam. I’ve learned this through experience as well as from inspiration given to me by my family, friends, teachers and my therapist. 

I wish all of you the best on your final exams! Your best attempt is what’s essential and I believe you will persevere through these stressful days. Keep these songs in your memory while you study and incorporate them into your relaxation playlist.

Subhanghi Anandarajah, who also goes by Subi, is a final-year student at X University pursuing journalism and a huge Disney fan. Not a day has ever gone by without her reading, and her mind is always filled with visions for stories she hopes to recount. Becoming an author is one of her aspirations. Social justice issues are what she plans to focus on in future writing.
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