The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Depending on how you study, you may like to listen to music while you do your homework. Or, you may like to sit in total silence. Either way, it’s totally up to the you and how you may learn best.

Studies have shown, however, that students perform better on tests when they listen to classical music while they study. It has something to do with our memory retention, the same way that chewing gum while you study and while you test-take may lead to better exam results. Now, while Beethoven and Mozart are among the most talented composers to walk this earth, I personally don’t prefer to listen to them while I prepare for my exams. However, I have made Spotify playlists with songs from other musicians that I listen to exclusively while I study.

I’m not a psychology major, and I have no idea of the ~psychological~ proof behind this, but I have realized something with my study patterns and have thus concluded on a theory: I do better on exams when I study while listening to music that makes me happy. I’m happiest, mostly, when I’m with my family and friends. This might be hard to explain, but bear with me.

On my two-hour long drives to UMass from my hometown, my mom and I listen to songs that remind her of her childhood. Her college years were some of the best of her life, so I presumably have adapted a liking for songs from her college years—songs from the 1980s, specifically. Therefore, I have a playlist full of songs from Billy Joel, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, etc. We listen to this when we drive together from Connecticut to Massachusetts, and I listen to this alone when I study. Perhaps something about the music itself or the memories that come with it bring me happiness, and studying is more enjoyable for me when I have these songs on in the background.

There is no scientific proof behind any of what I’m saying (that I know of), but it’s just something I’ve realized since coming to college. If studying while listening to music works well for you, listen to music that reminds you of happy things—above anything, it will lighten your mood.

 

Topic: 

Academics

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The first time I ever set foot on to the University of Massachusetts campus was in the spring of my junior year of high school. Amidst an array of college tours, SAT practice tests, and AP exam studying, I can’t honestly say I took the time to appreciate the little beauties UMass Amherst had to offer-- rather, I worried that my application would not be up to par. Questions ran through my head the entire time I was there, as they would any stressed out high school junior: “What if my extracurriculars aren’t good enough?” “Have I taken enough AP classes?” “What if I’m not accepted?”