Fingers stained with coffee and highlighter. Hallucinations brought on by sleep deprivation. Lecture halls brimming with pajama-clad students. No student is safe from the wrath of Finals Week. Here is a playlist for all-nighters, study groups, and other miscellaneous academic emergencies. It’s chill but has just the right beat to keep you from falling asleep in the stacks. Included are a some deep tracks to guide you on your 4:30am existential crisis and the occasional 80s power ballad to ensure that not all hope is lost.
If you want to take your procrastination to a new level and listen to this Finals Week playlist while not actually preparing for finals, read the following along with music. It’ll be like like guided meditation except, you know, it’ll be useful.
“This Year” by The Mountain Goats
The motivational anthem to start your intellectual venture off right. Shout along with the song: “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me!”
“Dreambender” by Com Truise
This DJ found a time machine back to the early 80s, and you know what it’s fueled by? Synth. Nothing but synth. As you work (or slack off), think about how hard students had it in the 80s. No laptops, no cell phones, no internet, the Russians invaded America and tried killing Patrick Swayze and his friends, and Impact 89FM didn’t exist until 1989. Bummer. Com Truise also kicks of the first leg of the playlist, a leg that features dancy and ethereal indietronica.
“Straight Outta Compusa” by Commodore 64
No, your computer isn’t talking to you. This song may just persuade you to pull an Office Space and take your frustration out on the machines. Following this nerdcore track, brace yourself for other hyperdigital hip hop, 8-bit, and experimental music. Become one with your computer. Get wired in and finish this semester off strong.
Past “Blue Ridge Mountains” by Fleet Foxes
At this point in your dusk-til-dawn academic decathlon, you have overcome the caffeine-induced heart palpitations. You are halfway done with your paper that you regret not starting a week ago. Ego death begins. The persistence of time begins to slip. Be at peace, my child, and the world will be at peace around you. Let “Strobe” by deadmau5 study for you as you descend into the depths of your own mind. Be not afraid; Sigur Ros and Mogwai will ease you in. Boards of Canada will make you nostalgic for moments that haven’t even happened yet.
“Do You Realize??” by the Flaming Lips
You are at the height of your existential crisis. You see your loved ones. You see the Dalai Lama. You see Santa Claus. You see Batman. Meryl Streep and Steve Jobs. Total consciousness is yours to receive, so you got that going for you, which is nice. Oh no. You’re crashing. Falling. Spinning. Down. Down. Down. Down.
“You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito
You snap out of this existential stuff. It’s time for your second wind. You’ve got a lot of work to do, and this 80s montage song from The Karate Kid will make the next few hours seem like a few minutes. Get ready to sweep the leg on exam week. The songs that follow are alternative music staples to help you get in the zone.
“6am” by Fitz and the Tantrums
In case that montage and the songs that followed made you lose track of time, this song is a friendly reminder. Just think, the normal, sane part of society will be waking up in the next hour or two. You look out the window to see the sunrise and realize you’re on the west side of the library. Crap, that sucks. That was about to make a great Instagram.
The Final Coundown. These last tracks are to be listened to on the way to your exams to inspire, excite, encourage, and bedazzle.
“I Will Survive” by Cake
Believe it or not, I had a hard time choosing between Gloria Gaynor’s version and this cover.
“The Touch” by Stan Bush
Back to the 80s. What’s the best way to commute to an early morning exam? Why, a mechanical pink dragon that uses dreams and power ballads as fuel to fly among the clouds and stars, of course! Remember, any time you see a rainbow, it is the trail of a student heading to an exam via dream-powered mechanical pink dragon.
“Contact” by Daft Punk
For those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to know a space wizard that will lend you his mechanical pink dragon, this Random Access Memories track is a little bit longer, taking into account the walk or drive to your class. Listen to this song and picture yourself at your exam, blasting off into space, and landing symbolically among the stars. Actually, if you’re driving to your exam, don’t daydream like this; pay attention to the road.
After your exam, choose one depending on whether or not you did well:
Good: “We Did It” by Dora the Explorer
Bad: “The End” by the Doors
Neutral tiebreaker: “Christmastime Is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio
Either be happy that holiday break is here, or pout about that exam and hang your head a la Arrested Development.