Playlist: Surviving Finals

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It’s finals time, scholarly queers!

Are you holed up in a far corner of the library studying for Chemistry? Or wrapped in a Snuggie in bed, surrounded by books, trying to write a conclusion for your Women in Contemporary American Lit final paper? Closing in on your fifth hour at your second-favorite table at your local coffee shop, but still can’t pick a topic for your research paper for your history class? It’s a rough time of year. I find winter finals particularly miserable. It’s only light outside for a few hours of the day to begin with, so you might miss all the sun while you sit in the library, and even if you’re not inside somewhere, it’s cold and wet. Also, there are more interesting winter-holiday-fun-things happening that sometimes you have to skip to write a paper.

Have you and your friends hit this part of finals yet? via

Have you and your friends hit this part of finals yet? via

If you came to Autostraddle today to procrastinate on your finals work, this is the playlist for you. These are the songs that are carrying me through finals week, carefully selected for maximum head-bobbing and upbeat-ness to make those last few papers and finals count. I think a big unifying theme here is that there are a lot of empowering synth-y sounds, and listening to songs like that always make me feel like I’m in the dramatic climax of an 80’s movie.

Turn it up and get back to the books. We’ll still be here when you’re done.

Surviving Finals


Fantasy – MS MR
I Follow Rivers – Lykke Li
Between Two Lungs – Florence + The Machine
Pumpin’ Blood – NONONO
Don’t Just Sit There – Lucius
Body of Work – the Mynabirds
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – Arcade Fire
The Keepers – Santigold
Closer Than This – St. Lucia
Gold Guns Girls – Metric
Dance Apocalyptic – Janelle Monáe
Midnight City – M83
Forever – Haim
All Night – Icona Pop
The Mother We Share – CHVRCHES
Midnight Coward – Stars
Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
Drove Me Wild – Tegan and Sara
Breatherz (Young As Clouds) – rubblebucket
Stronger – Kanye West

Surviving Finals from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Stef up and someone on the team might make it for you.

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Autostraddle staff writer. Copy editor. Fledgling English muffin maker. Temporary turtle parent. Zine creator. Swings enthusiast. Political human who cares a lot about healthcare and queer anti-carceral feminisms. I asked my friend to help me write this bio and they said, "Good-natured. Friend. Earth tones." Another friend said, "Flannel babe. Vacuum lover. Kind." So. Find me on Twitter or my website.

Maddie has written 100 articles for us.


    I just needed you to know that.
    Definitely picturing people starring at their laptops with almost completed papers singing/crying, “Forever we tried to make it right, but together we saw the end in sight.”
    Then floating on into that Icona Pop motivation. Nice.

  2. This looks wonderful, but guess what? I’m was done with finals yesterday! *sings I’m so free by lou reed triumphantly*

  3. ahhhh so many great songs in here!

    my favorite essay-writing music is anything that uses typewriter sounds as percussion, à la 9 to 5, the atonement soundtrack, etc.

  4. I was about to start crying over this 15 page Chaucer analysis. You have no idea how grateful I am.

  5. This is exactly what I needed! I will crank the volume loud enough to drown out the sounds of my fellow students’ hacking coughs in an effort to ignore the germs spreading through the library. Stay awaaaay from me, infected ones! I need to get finished before I get sick!

  6. Oh my god, this is exactly what I needed. I have to write that 20 pages paper tonight and I’ve already swallowed way too much coffee. Thank you!

  7. welp, I just finished my finals but good to know in 14 weeks when I take them again #quatersystem #deargod

  8. listened to this all afternoon at work. and planning to play at my winter-holiday-fun-thing tomorrow!! <3

  9. Or you know, trying really hard to study for Biochem, Orgo and Bio, but sick and with a high fever. I hate finals.

  10. also also also:
    Fields by xxyyxx.

    That entire album (also called xxyyxx) is the only reason studying happens in my world…

  11. just got me through that last chapter of psych (for the night…four more tomorrow. this is what happens when you don’t do the reading OR go to the lecture and then procrastinate and then need to learn an entire quarter of material in 24 hours)

    i will be listening to this again, on repeat, in the morning.

    thank you!!!!

  12. Literally been listening to Dance Apocalyptic on repeat all day when lo and behold at one in the morning when I’m writing my paper I discover this playlist and there it is.
    Playlists like these are so helpful though really thank you I needed it.

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