Ladies and gentlemen, midterm exams are upon us. This means many students will spend long days slaving away over textbooks, reading those chapters we neglected weeks ago because we had “other shit to do” (aka napping).

This time of year means spending endless hours at McKeldin Library and spending more money than you have at Starbucks. It probably means crying a little bit and sacrificing your lunches to Testudo while some high schoolers in a tour group stare at you and wonder:

“What the hell is wrong with her?”

And if you need a mixtape for studying that isn’t the sound of your internal screaming for five or more hours at a time, or the awkward Shia Labeouf video, make sure you check out this list of inspirational faves:

Run the World (Girls) // Beyoncé

Who runs the world? The answer is you. You can handle this exam.

Beautiful // Christina Aguilera

Damian laid down some true fire with this song in Mean Girls” back in 2004. It’s still relevant for all those who forget to believe in themselves because their brain is so full of chemistry notes and the elements of the periodic table.

Stronger // Britney Spears

Probably the ultimate throwback. This song accentuated my elementary, middle and high school years. Britney got through 2007 and this song can get you through your exam.

Tubthumping // Chumbawamba

This song is an awkward one-hit-wonder that nobody actually knows the name to, but Tubthumping takes the line, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down,” and repeats it over. And over. And over. And over again.

In fact, they probably say it enough times to convince you of that, no matter how many F’s you get in a math class, you’ll get right back up and try again.

The Climb // Miley Cyrus

We all willingly bump old Miley but this particular song is fitting for every single day of the week. Keep it on repeat before, during and after your exams.

Survivor // Destiny’s Child

This classic is enough to encourage even the most exhausted individuals. But you are a survivor and you are not going to give up. Beyoncé believes in you. And so do I .

I Will Survive // Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor survived a terrible breakup. You will survive this exam.

The Middle // Jimmy Eat World

College is hard, man. It’s true. We’ve all seen the chart that says pick two, but no one really prepared us for the reality of how strenuous exams were actually going to be. A song like this will help you reassure you that “everything will be just fine.”

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough // Marvin Gaye

Featured in the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack (aka the best soundtrack to hit the U.S. since 13 Going on 30‘s back in 2004), this song is reminiscent of one of those stereotypical underdog football movies. The underdog, in this case you, is going to beat the living hell out of the opposing football team standing between you and your first state title since your school desegregated, the opposing team being the exam you have at 8 a.m. Oh wait, that’s Remember the Titans. Still applicable. 

Supermodel // RuPaul

This song was featured in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, the song, “Supermodel” is the rags to riches we all dream of–being born and raised in the Midwest and turned into an international supermodel. #Lifegoals. But only if you get through this week of exams.

Work This Body // Walk the Moon

Happy and inspiring, Walk the Moon never fails to put everyone in a good mood. This song is yet another about how hard work can pay off.

Seven Nation Army // White Stripes

If nothing else can get you pumped up, then try this song. We find that in times of extreme stress, “Seven Nation Army” can instill an intense feeling of bad-assery.

Featured Photo Credit: April 6 -Students dance continually throughout the Holi celebration. (Ryan Eskalis/Bloc Reporter)

Julia Lerner is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at

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