During a time of social distancing and quarantine, you can feel isolated, as if the voice in your head will never be quiet.
I’ve found that music is a way to let loose and forget about the world crumbling around me, the boredom I’m feeling or even the snowballing my school work has begun to take.
Now that we’re in finals season, college students are finding difficulty in calming their minds, but we can turn to music.
Jeffery Seitz, fourth-year SUNY New Paltz student, describes piano instrumentals as especially helpful, while third-year Emily Trama turns to her favorites: Perfume Genius, Tame Impala, Ed Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
There are many benefits to listening to music while studying: it is a destressor, background music can improve focus to continue studying and some students have felt that music has assisted with memorization before exams.
Music brings forth a positive mood for many people, which thus allows for more brain flexibility and a higher effort to learn. This is because music lessens your levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for lowering stress and anxiety levels. Slow rhythmic music specifically alters your brain activity to put you in a state of meditation, and thus relaxation, allowing you to continue to study even if it has been a few hours.
“When I am studying for exams that require memorization, I listen to slower songs so that I am relaxed and can focus more,” said third-year biology student Caitlyn Schroeder. “I hate studying either way, but music makes it much easier.”
Whether you feel that music impacts your day, positively or not, give it a shot. Personally, I find that a 2000s pop punk playlist gives me more energy and happiness than I could have imagined.
“The whole process of listening to music is the inner confession of the creator of music, which is the reproduction of people’s inner feelings and psychological activities,” according to Yi Xiong. “So, the process of playing music is very similar to emotional disclosure in people’s hearts.”
Fourth-year journalism major, Jessica Barr, feels that music puts things into perspective.
“Tame Impala and Mt. Joy is always my go to,” she said. “To hear the different concepts artists felt compelled to write about makes me feel that as long as we can communicate our feelings we’ll be okay.”
During this time, tensions are especially high and there is a lacking comfortability for any student who has been uprooted. I have never taken a final exam from my computer with my family, but this pandemic has shown us that there is a first for everything.
Sit back, put on your favorite tune and try your best to succeed. Remember, a relaxed mind is a much happier one.