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On Repeat: Motivating songs to help power through the rest of the semester

With finals right around the corner, prepare for the homestretch with these encouraging tracks

<p>From Gloria Gaynor to Eminem, these artists —&nbsp;spanning various genres and decades — will help you find the motivation you need to finish the semester strong.</p>

From Gloria Gaynor to Eminem, these artists — spanning various genres and decades — will help you find the motivation you need to finish the semester strong.

With classes, studying and extracurriculars making days on Grounds feel long and laborious, it is hard to believe that it is already the end of April, and the spring semester is coming to a close. With the last day of classes in sight and the finish line so close, there's no time to give up. These revitalizing songs will give University students the needed push and inspiration to power through exam season to the end of the academic year.

“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

Your love language doesn’t have to be words of affirmation to grasp the compelling message of “I Will Survive.” Just a few encouraging words can motivate students to prevail in their classes, and that is exactly what listeners will find in Gaynor’s disco era track. While it was released in 1978, the iconic song still carries its uplifting energy today. It will give listeners a needed pep in their step as they walk across Grounds to get to that last 8 a.m. class of the semester.

Whether you’re feeling burnt out, anxious about graduation or waiting for summer break to finally start, Gloria Gaynor is on your side. Singing about a recent breakup, instead of withering and feeling sad, Gaynor proves she is resilient, independent and determined to move forward despite adversity.

With upbeat melodies backing her vocals, she sings, “You think I’d crumble? / You think I’d lay down and die? / Oh no, not I, I will survive.” The repeated affirmation and positive mindset creates an atmosphere of strength, giving students the courage and optimism to endure the final weeks of the semester.

“Stronger” by Kanye West

A seamless blend of hip-hop and electronic techniques – like synthesizers and vocal distortion –  "Stronger" by Kanye West is a powerful anthem that urges listeners to dig deep to find the inner strength needed to forge ahead — a message that many students will appreciate as they gear up to tackle final papers and exams.  

With an energy-packed introduction that feels like a shot of adrenaline straight to the veins,  the song begins with an infectious beat and an electronic sound sure to pull anyone out of a studying slump. Accompanying the music are lyrics that are equally as moving. When West sings,   “Work it, make it, do it, makes us / Harder, better, faster, stronger / N-now-now that, that don’t kill me / Can only make me stronger,” the iconic verse serves as a reminder to tackle hardships because they’ll only fuel your growth. 

If you are feeling drowsy while studying for an exam at 2 a.m., put on some headphones and blast “Stronger” for an instant pick-me-up that will empower you to push through the work ahead.

“Brave” by Sara Bareilles

Looking to add some positivity into your study playlist? Look no further than "Brave" by Sara Bareilles. This uplifting tune will linger in your mind for hours, which is just what students need in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel. One lesson to take away from “Brave” is to face challenges head-on, and Bareilles passes this encouragement on to the listener, singing, “Bow down to the mighty / Don’t run, stop holding your tongue / Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live.”

Along with the uplifting lyrics, the song’s upbeat and melodic tempo serve as a breath of fresh air for students buried in assignments, encouraging them to give themselves a well deserved break, whether that be soaking up sun on the lawn or taking a trip to Carter Mountain with friends. The unforgettable melodies of “I just wanna see you / I just wanna see you be brave,” evoke nothing but good feelings. 

When it comes time to study for an exam or write an essay, crank up “Brave” and let its positive message wash over you. Its lyrical melodies, like “Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out,” will have you singing along to the irresistible rhythm.

“Till I Collapse” by Eminem (feat. Nate Dogg)

A complete tonal shift from the light harmonies of “Brave”, “Till I Collapse” is an influential early 2000s rap song where Eminem and Nate Dogg employ impactful lyrics to stress the importance of never giving up. Eminem begins rapping, “‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired / Feel weak, and when you feel weak / You feel like you wanna just give up / But you gotta search within you / Try to find that inner strength and just pull that sh- out of you.” Eminem speaks of the universal experience of feeling worn out, but amidst the exhaustion and temptation to quit, the lyrics offer guidance towards a more resilient solution.

At the song’s end, the duo preaches about preserving that aforementioned inner strength, singing, “'Until my legs, until my legs / Give out from underneath me, I / I will not fall, I will stand tall.” This track embodies determination through its intense beat and lyrical brilliance. 

Much like Eminem, listeners shouldn't allow obstacles to hinder their progress, whether it's achieving dean’s list or securing a summer internship. “Till I Collapse” reminds listeners to never succumb to the fatigue of the semester and to keep pushing forward, because with only two weeks of classes left, you can nearly brush the finish line with your fingertips. 

From Gloria Gaynor to Eminem, the artists on this list — spanning various genres and decades — will help you find the motivation you need to finish the semester strong. When you find yourself in a slump, these songs serve as a catalyst, infusing you with the vigor and spunk necessary to wrap up the academic year on a high note.


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