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Study Zen

by F about a year ago in metal
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Four Songs to Wake and Focus the Mind for Exams

Being a graduate student for the third time in my life, I’ve heard my fair share of study tips and tricks. Amongst them include teaching the material to others and studying while drinking something that can be drunken in the test hall (what a shame that isn’t beer or wine).

Personally, the best method for me has always been to tie information to a song that I can play continuously and have it in my head at a subconscious level. Then all I need to do is remember the song and all that information is suddenly there for the testing. Without further ado, I present a four song list of the most fruitful songs for my study sessions. They aren’t boring songs, but alongside that nice jolt to keep me awake, there’s a soothing rhythm. Once in a while other songs do the trick but it takes a while to get something stuck in my head for instant recall.

1. Korn – Right Now

This gem was released by Korn in 2003 as a part of the Take a Look in the Mirror album. For those unfamiliar with Korn, the nu metal band is fronted by Jonathan Davis and was founded in Bakersfield, CA in 1993. This band has been around a while – and it’d be amazing to have been a part of some of those epic moshpits. Right Now helped me through most of my chemistry undergraduate testing. While I won’t put the lyrics here, a look at them is a good summary of how tests make many people feel – irritated and frustrated. What better way than to work that out via a heavy electric rhythm and a steady beat? Jonathan Davis’ voice is pretty soothing and yes, each question will be answered “right now.” Literally every lyric is how I identify with schooling as a whole, but I accept it as a necessary evil on my path.

2. Korn – Here to Stay

Korn’s Here to Stay was released in the 2002 Untouchables album. Much like Right Now, I find the song very relatable to schooling. I mean, how many times do students need to feel like they’re being waterboarded with information that’s not sinking in? School just takes a lot and it takes years to see the rewards of that. There are many, many rewards to be had from the accomplishment but I couldn’t see that until after I was done. I was there to stay because failure is not an option. Here to Stay features more of the signature Korn.

3. The Browning – Carnage

The Browning is a much newer metalcore band from Kansas City, Missouri. They formed in 2005 and have recently been garnering more attention. Carnage is a part of the Geist album released in 2018. Since it’s so recent, it’s mostly helped with my doctoral classes. The screaming against a dance/electric rhythm is an interesting one for me that keeps me awake through the study material and test. The lyrics really aren’t relatable to any education matter, except perhaps the feeling of wasting away in classrooms when there’s a whole world to explore. That being said, I can’t think of anyone who would complain about being able to explore it on a larger budget. I can only attribute that to completing my education.

4. Suicide Silence – You Only Live Once

Suicide Silence was formed in 2002 as a Riverside, CA deathcore band. This song was released in 2011 on The Black Crown album. I personally only listen to Suicide Silence pre-Mitch Lucker’s death. Anything since just sounds washed out. I love this song in particular because it keeps me focused. It keeps and anxiety and worries at bay. You know – that little voice in your head, second guessing if all the answers are right. Also, there’s only one shot to take the test in most circumstances. Lately, I’ve been working on extending the YOLO philosophy to other parts of my life beyond school, deathcore style.

Best of luck studying,



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