Songs to take you from the last day of classes all the way through the end of the semester

It's that time of year again - the end of the semester. After 8 months of homework, quizzes, and that 8AM recitation you hate, it's time to leave campus and get set up for 10 weeks at home, working, or at an internship. But before that can happen, we have to get through the busiest two weeks of the semester - final exams. Just as the weather starts to get sunny and warm, your professors ask you to spend the most time inside, working on projects, studying, and taking tests. 

Whether this finds you in your last few weeks of classes, in the middle of a much-needed study break, or already back at home, here are the 3 playlists I've been using to get through my 2 projects and 4 exams. By the time you're reading this, I'll be sitting in the passenger seat of my dad's truck, riding home for break after an incredibly long and stressful semester.  

Focus and Concentration

At RPI, we have something called study days - these are days after the last day of classes, where you have time to study and work on final projects before your exams start. For me, these days were two days of solid work - I had a group project, a final paper, and a take-home exam all due before the weekend. This meant I needed to really buckle down and focus on the work needed to be done, with no distractions, but also without zoning out. 

This playlist features some of my favorite classical tunes, as well as the entire sound track to a couple of movies and TV shows - this might seem weird, but movie soundtracks are good at being interesting enough to add mood to a scene, but not so interesting as to be distracting from the action or dialogue. To me, this makes them perfect for focus!

Study Break at the Gym

One great way to relax after spending 10 hours sitting in front of your computer is to hit the campus gym for a quick workout. I like to do a mix of running on the elliptical and weight lifting - and after many years of dance and marching band, the only way to get me to run, is to put on some seriously up-tempo jams.  

This playlist is full of fast-paced, high-energy hits: Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, and a whole lot of ‘80s pop. Whether your workout of choice is on the treadmill, on a bike, or in a dance class, this playlist will make your cardio session just as intense as your study session.  

Get Pepped Up 

Whether you're finished with your last exam, trying to get pepped up for your first, or are taking a breather in the middle, sometimes during exam week, you need a bit of excitement. For me, this usually means singing and/or dancing: in the shower, in my room while I'm packing up my stuff, or even sometimes while walking around campus. (No, I do not have an amazing singing voice. Yes, I do get weird looks from other people. No, that is not enough to make me want to stop.) 

No matter the cause for your celebration, this is a playlist filled with my most earworm-worthy tunes. With these mood-boosting hits, you'll be able to bop around with the best of them, until it's time for the semester to start again. 

What do you think?

What are you doing to stay motivated through your exams? What are your favorite tracks to listen to while you're enjoying your last week on campus?

Let us know in the comments below!

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