With finals right around the corner, a lot of us are feeling the beginnings of burnout (if we haven’t been feeling like this for weeks already), and most of us are trying to find ways to take a mental break or at least get a chance to reboot. And while you might not feel like you have time for an extended break or just want a quick little pick-me up, I’ve found that music is the perfect quick cure to finals brain fuzz.
This probably isn’t new or earth-shattering information to anyone, but it’s become increasingly apparent to me in the last few days. I usually always have my earbuds in and hit metaphorical walls with my work frequently, so usually my solution is to put on a song with a lot of energy and get up and pace (and occasionally dance) while it’s playing. I also play in the school’s chamber orchestra, and it’s a huge brain break for me to be able to switch from my academic to my musical brain twice a week and gives me the opportunity to take a step back and focus on something else for a while. And even for those of us who don’t play an instrument, we can still use music as a way to step back, or at least get a little boost of serotonin when you need it most. It’s the easiest way to change or lift my mood, and I often feel better when I have something playing than when everything is silent.
Once again, this is hardly new knowledge. I hardly need to reiterate that music can make you feel good, since at this point I would be incredibly surprised to meet someone who hasn’t come to this conclusion themselves. But I still think it bears repeating; we’re all trudging through these final weeks on pretty much half capacity, burnt out and tired and hoping for some rest from the seemingly endless tests and paper writing. And most of us can’t afford long breaks or don’t want to study in a stagnant, boring, silent environment, so we therefore turn to music, which helps us keep going and adds a little fun to the work that needs to be done.
So don’t underestimate the power of a good playlist; it can be the difference between a sluggish study session and an energized education.