Fourth-year UGA student Anaya Gibson studies while listening to music inside UGA's Main Library in Athens, Georgia, on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (Photo/Taylor Gerlach)

Midterm season may seem far in the future, but it’s coming up closer on the calendar than you think. After having a long weekend, studying is going to be more complicated than ever. With the world at our fingertips, it’s easy to get distracted, overwhelmed and swamped with all the work being assigned left and right. Whether it’s taking a 20-minute break to turn up the volume on stress-relief nature sounds or queuing up some classical tunes, we compiled a few tips to construct your perfect study playlist for your upcoming exams and projects.

Listen to some classical tunes

Classical music has been used to help people relax, sleep and focus for centuries. The best candidates for classical music to use when studying are those who are indifferent to it. Just keeping the sound of Bach in the background of your late-night study session can help move the process along. Believe it or not, being too invested in a genre can be a major distraction. The most acclaimed composers are Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Good vibes for stress

When deciding on a playlist or genre for studying, first you may want to assess what the goal is. If your goal is to relax after a late-night cram session, you may want to play waterfalls, ocean waves crashing, crickets at night or even white noise. These relaxing sounds will make distractions less probable and enable you to take a breather. White noise is actually a nonstop ambient sound playing constantly which is geared to help mask outside noise. This study conducted by The University of Sussex found nature sounds help the human mind relax. The noise affects the systems in humans associated with flight-or-flight and other nervous systems with linked effects in the resting activity of the brain.

Go instrumental or go home

The louder your music, the more difficult it is to study. Think about it: trying to cram tons of information in a few hours will be more difficult if you can’t hear yourself think. Instrumental tunes are a great way to have background noise throughout a study session. Spotify has an instrumental playlist ready to go and it can be found here. With 3,686 songs, you’ll have plenty of options which won’t leave you with a headache. Another idea is to listen to your favorite score, whether that be for a film, TV show or even a video game.

Go ad free

Listening to voices on the radio or ads will make concentrating much more difficult. If you’re cramming for an exam and advertisements are played every few songs, you should try Spotify Premium which is $4.99 for students including unlimited, ad-free music.

Queue it up

Don’t spend hours selecting songs, create a playlist to keep you off your phone and provide fewer distractions. If you curate your ideal tracklist to be around an hour long, you’ll know you can take a break when it’s over.

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