pump up songs for studying

5 “Pump Up” Songs to Inspire You Throughout the Semester

Every semester unfolds in its own way, but there are some moments that recur with each cycle of classes (really, they happen every semester…it’s pretty much a law of nature) that are central to the student experience. Getting through them successfully requires considerable drive. And sometimes to tap into that deep well of determination, we need a little outside help.

Enter: the power of song.

Science suggests that listening to music changes mental outlook—definitely the key to getting inspired for any daunting assignment. So to help you function at peak performance, we’ve identified (through a very unscientific process) some of the most effective motivation music* known to humankind. Use its power to inspire you at the most critical points in every semester.

Critical Point #1: Cracking Open the Books (or eBooks)

Ah, the hopeful beginning. The only time in the semester when you probably have enough motivation without the use of a musical aid, but it can’t hurt to start out on the right foot.  It’s highly recommended that you mimic Mick Jagger’s dancing to reap the full benefit.

Critical Point #2: Trying to Find Your Groove

You’ve managed to finish some of your readings, but you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. You’re frustrated with not being able to keep up your energy or consistently churn out brilliant thoughts. You question your ability. But don’t worry. This dance diva is here to remind you that you’re gonna learn to fly high!

Critical Point #3: Climbing the Midterm Hump

Now we’re getting to the real struggles. The work is piling up despite the fact that you’ve been toiling for weeks. You’re beginning to feel the burn in your intellectual muscles, but you still have a long way to go. How are you going to make it? With this song, of course! How else do you think Rocky made it through all those sequels? And if it’s good enough for Rocky, it’s good enough for you.

Critical Point #4: The Inevitable All-Nighter

Quite possibly the lowest point of the entire semester. It’s the day before a large assignment is due, and you’re not nearly finished (or you haven’t even started). It’s not necessarily that you’ve been slacking off. You’ve just been a bit…stuck. Now it’s do or die. You can’t give up now!

Critical Point #5: Finals

A flawless blend of driving rhythm, wailing guitar, and moving (albeit puzzling) lyrics. If anything will give you that one last push, that much needed burst of energy, that positive reminder that the end is near, it’s this. Congratulations, you’ve just about made it. (And when you’re done, we promise you can turn this noise off!)

What’s your favorite motivation music? Tell us what pumps you up, and share links in the comments below!

*Note: We are aware we only chose music from one decade. We can’t help it that the most powerful motivation music of all time was created between 1980 and 1990.

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