Sunday Sesh: Study Music

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For many of you, the fall semester is back in swing. You may be two or three weeks in and already feeling the press of homework, projects, and upcoming exams. You may be staying up every night during the week cramming, only to attempt to erase all that knowledge with booze over the weekend. Whether you’re a university student or still trucking along in high school, this post is for you.

I may be a few years removed from having to do homework assignments, but the existential dread of missing an exam or not finishing a paper still haunts me in my darkest dreams. Unfortunately for you, many of you are no doubt living that reality. If you’re anything like me, then, you’ve found certain styles of music tend to be more efficacious in creating a specific mindset for studying. You may enjoy classical music or film scores, but you may also find plenty of meditative power within the realm of metal.

When I was pulling all-nighters in the computer lab, pounding back energy drinks and staring at HEC-HMS pipe networks, I found that much of the chaotic fare I usually enjoy was a bit too distracting. I needed something more ponderous, contemplative, and nuanced. I believe it was this need that eventually led me into the post-metal/sludge waters of Isis and NeurosisIn the Absence of Truth especially was a frequent listen for me while working on engineering problems. The swelling dynamics and stirring tension were perfect for leading my mind through engineering problems without sending it down blast(beat)ed-out rabbit holes. Plus, albums by bands like this are typically on the longer side, so I wouldn’t need to worry as much about constantly choosing new releases.

I may be an exception, though. Perhaps you need more short bursts of chaos to carry you through the workload. With the semester back in swing, I want to hear your strategy. What study music do you use? Why does it work for you? Sound off in the comments below.

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