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Fear of missing out blocked out by study beats


Bass drops, the vibration of my phone and cheers of celebration sound off around me as I try to settle into studying for exams on a Tuesday night in my apartment. 

Struggling to gather my willpower, the only solace I have for blocking out the FOMO (fear of missing out) is my headphones and tried-and-tested study playlist. 

A few years ago I compiled a list of songs that are repetitive, catchy and have a fast tempo — some of the lyrics vaguely motivational. While my playlist I study to contains a variety of themes and genres, there are definitely things that are off-limits when I'm trying to hit my homework grind. 

By being picky about what I listen to when I'm working on school projects, I set myself up for success by taking control of my environment to make it as conducive to studying and retaining information as possible. Unfortunately, I can't do that while I'm jamming out to Kanye's new album.

Rap and hip-hop are limited because I just end up badly singing along and get distracted. I also can't try to discover new music when I'm studying because that's a recipe for me getting sidetracked down a wormhole of analyzing and comparing the shiny new songs to every artist I've ever heard before. Instead, my study playlist consists of songs I've listened to so many times they are engrained in my mind. It's upbeat, but not so much to make me want to venture from my textbooks. 

1. "Buggin' Out" by Tribe Called QuestOK, so I said limited rap, but Tribe Called Quest songs are repetitive enough that I can usually nod my head along to songs like "Buggin' Out" without getting sidetracked. 

2. "Aberdeen" by Cage the ElephantThis song has just the right amount of guitar and rock vibes to keep me focused, even as Matt Shultz screams in the background of me trying to memorize rock samples for my geology final.

3. "Team" by Lorde

When it gets later and I begin to enter the existential crisis part of my night of studying, it always helps hearing the lyrics "We're on each other's team." Thanks for the for the support, Lorde.

4. "Try Honesty" by Billy Talent

Billy Talent's protest/pop-punk music is a favorite of mine to listen to while studying, but I learned to mix songs like "Try Honesty" and "Fallen Leaves" with more upbeat melodies so I don't put myself in a bad mood — which is easy to do when I'm trying to differentiate different climate patterns for my introductory geography class.

5. "Don't Slow Down" by Matt and Kim

Don't slow down is probably the definition of my perfect study song. Matt and Kim songs have a very repetitive electronic vibe that really syncs my mind with studying for some reason. This song in particular also has the perfect lyrics when I'm rushing to finish an assignment or cram for a test. My productivity increases exponentially with the drumbeat that builds throughout the song.


About Kate Carlson

Editor-in-Chief Kate Carlson is a senior from Lapeer who is majoring in journalism with a minor in ...

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