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Songs That Motivate Us Through the Burnout: Staff Picks, by RedHawk Radio Writers

With final projects starting and finals week looming, many of us feel the burnout. After we return from Thanksgiving break, we only have three total weeks left in the semester. The rare few may be encouraged by this and pour their all into their work. The majority of us, though, dread the onslaught of the semester’s busiest weeks.


Because we, the writers of RedHawk Radio, believe that entertainment media can carry us through the most difficult moments, we have chosen some of our favorite “pump up” songs to share with our fellow afflicted students.


“Arrived” by Jessi

Pick from Karla Garcia


“Arrived” by Jessi is the perfect song to pump us up as we complete endless amounts of essays, exams and final projects. Its lyrics “this journey is a lonely road, but when I look at who I do it for” motivate me to work hard and finish the semester strong. Listening to Jessi’s powerful vocals also helps to make these challenging weeks more enjoyable.


“The Motto,” by Drake, featuring Lil Wayne

Pick from Megan Harrison


One of the sure-fire ways to combat burnout is to listen to male rappers gas themselves up. Yes, this song is the essence of a late 2010s boys’ basketball practice, but the adrenaline and confidence ooze through the speakers just the same. Whether it’s the beat or the way the words roll, when we listen to artists rap about their ample success, we can easily feel like ours is on the horizon.


Pick from Henri Robbins


The first time I listened to this song, I entered a state of productivity that has never been met since. It was like all the extra functions in my brain shut off, and the only thing I could even consider was focus. This track is sensory overload — but to such a degree that it causes a stack overflow and resets everything to zero.


“Young God” by Halsey

Pick from Ethan K. Poole


While not exactly a typical hype-up song, having a slightly slower rhythm, Halsey’s “Young God” has an energy and a confidence that puts us in the headspace to tackle any project in front of us. It makes a great jumping-off point for any hype-building playlist.


Pick from Rachel Foley


Okay, we can all agree SZA snapped, right? While this song may, at first, seem very mellow and not very hype, it never fails to motivate me. The lyric “gotta get right / trying to free my mind before the end of the world” is honestly the motto for 2023. Whether it's the production, the flow of the lyrics, or the lyrics themselves, there’s good vibes all around in this one.


Pick from Rachel Watkins


Do you want to feel like a total badass walking into your exam? Yeah, you do! The song “The Grand Duel - Parte Prima” is featured on the Kill Bill: Volume 1 soundtrack and is my go-to hype song during finals. It is intentionally played as the last song on my exam soundtrack playlist, so I can come into class embodying Uma Thurman, prepared to absolutely slay my final.


“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band

Pick from GraciAnn Hicks


Although I’m not normally one for country or bluegrass music, something about the playful percussive elements, enticing harmonies, and, of course, that dance-inducing fiddle make me feel like I can take on the world. In general, it’s a great song to hype us up on our walk to a class we dread. The lyrics do the real work of inspiring us to achieve victory over our finals, though. Just as Johnny proves to the devil that he’s “the best [fiddle player] that’s ever been,” we can prove to be triumphant over the semester’s challenges.


With finals week just around the corner, the last thing we need is for the burnout to drag us down. Get hyped — the semester is nearly over!

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