A song for every occasion

A song for every occasion

Throughout your IB journey, you will go through a rollercoaster of emotions. From feeling overwhelmed looking at your endless to-do list, to the anxiety from drowning in half-completed assignments to the panic at the end of last-minute changes and the satisfaction of the beginning of your extraordinary career.   

The one thing that has gotten me through the tough times is music. I live in two worlds. One is a world of music. The world that helps me escape my second one— reality. I learnt to play the guitar alongside Jimi Hendrix, spiced my life up with Red Hot Chilli Peppers, scared my fevers away with The Cure, went through a breakup with Guns’ N Roses, decided to be in a rock band after AC/DC, mastered the art of flying with the Eagles and on some days felt like a Queen.

So if you’re feeling down, ecstatic, demotivated, content, anxious or lost, here’s a song for every occasion.

July: Excited 

The IB has just started. You’re filled with hope and excitement for the journey you are about to take up. Everything is fresh out of the oven, the subjects are new, the people are new, the teachers are new and you feel like your life is new. But little do you know that you are on the highway to hell. I’m kidding (moslty). While the lyrics to the song highway to hell by AC/DC may not be the most motivating, the song in itself is filled with energy and some heavy guitar and is fit for every occasion. Besides, you won’t be able to understand the lyrics in the first place. It’s a great song to give you an adrenaline rush, fit for every occasion and make your head bob. 

Another song that makes you feel like you can fly in Don’t stop me now by Queen. I’m floating around in ecstasy, So don’t stop me now, ‘Cause I’m having a good time, Having a good time”. If these lyrics don’t make you feel like you’re on top of the world, I don’t know what will.

September: Anxious 

Now you’re more familiar with most of the things you will have to complete by the end of two years such as the TOK exhibition, TOK essay, a 4000 word EE, English oral commentary, Second language oral commentary, Internal assesments in all 6 subjects, 18 activities and 2 long term projects to do for CAS. Jeez, you can feel the anxiety settling in your chest. Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last. Sometimes you’d just wish somebody could wake you up when September ends. Sometimes Green day is just what you need. Even the Queen is here to save you from Under Pressure. 

December: Overwhelmed 

By December your mind must be scattered. You must have one million things on your to-do lists with your half-assed IAs. You need to realise that you can’t do it all at once and sometimes you will have to take it one step at a time. Slow down you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile. Where’s the fire what’s the hurry about, you better cool it off before you burn it out, you’ve got so much to do and only so many hours in a day. These lyrics practically explain exactly what every single student needs to hear at a time like this. Billy Joel’s Vienna always put me in a calm state when I need it, and I guarantee it will do the same for you. 

March: Upset 

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. At this point you must be reflecting back on your times in middle school, when things were simpler but you had taken it for granted. You might start doubting yourself at this point, wondering if it was ever possible for you to get everything done AND study for exams at the same time. But you should know that Everybody Hurts, sometimes

July: Optimistic 

Semester exams are over, you’ve got the entire summer to relax and unwind. You can work on your IA’s at a much slower pace. And oh, Here Comes The Sun. You’ve got a whole month before everything starts getting crazy again and you sit down and think to yourself, What A Wonderful World. 

October: Demotivated 

At this point you can’t afford to let your emotions get the best of you. While you may be feeling demotivated to study, finalise IAs and juggle a million different things at once, you have to realise this is just part of the Journey, so Don’t stop believing.  

February: Hopeless

I have become Comfortably Numb. It’s easy to get comfortable being numb. You stop caring and begin to question your entire existence and it’s purpose. But giving in to hopelessness won’t help you pass the IB. Repeating it would be a nightmare, wouldn’t it? Applaud yourself for getting here in the first place and get your a** moving. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, Sometimes You Can’t Make it on your Own. 

May: Terrified

At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Fear will consume you and will later make you regret not overcoming it. Your exams are about to begin. You have studied for two long years, you have submitting all your documents, you have practiced plenty of past papers; there is no reason to doubt yourself. Fear will pass, All Things Must Pass. 


You’ve made it. Two strenuous years of your life is over. The pain, the gain, the panic, the aerodynamic, it’s done. I bet you’d have never imagined being here. For once, you can enjoy the Sound of Silence. You now deserve to sit back and do nothing. Because, We are the Champions, my friends.  

Your playlist for every occasion is now ready, plug in your earphones when you need to, and sit back so you can live in the moment for a while listening to the song.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: How does listening to music help in getting through IB?

A: Listening to music can help you relax, focus, and reduce stress levels during the intense IB program. It can also improve your mood and motivation, which can lead to better performance in your studies.

Q2: What kind of music is best for studying for IB?

A: The best music for studying for IB is instrumental or classical music, as it has been shown to improve focus and concentration. However, it ultimately depends on personal preference and what type of music helps you to study better.

Q3: Can listening to music be distracting during IB exams?

A: Yes, it can be distracting if you are not used to studying with music. It is recommended to only listen to music during your study sessions, and not during exams.

Q4: Can listening to music improve memory retention during IB?

A: Yes, music can help improve memory retention as it has been shown to stimulate the brain and enhance cognitive function. However, it depends on the individual and their learning style.

Q5: Is it recommended to listen to music during group study sessions for IB?

A: It depends on the group’s preferences and studying styles. If music helps everyone in the group to focus and study better, then it can be a good idea. However, if it is distracting for anyone, it should be avoided.

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