The suspiciously nice weather that fell upon our little town last week made it apparent to me that warm sunshine and a reduction in the torrential wind we’ve experienced these past few months bring a challenge to the productivity of students. On one hand, I’m sure loads can sympathise with wanting to maintain a ‘grind never stops’ mentality and be productive during the day. On the other hand, we simply cannot resist the urge to sit on a blanket outside all day and soak up as much sun as possible when the unpredictable Scottish climate decides to bless us with a beautiful day. This battle between catching some vitamin D and staying on top of work when the weather is nice only has seemed to intensify as the semester comes to a close; for many students, crunch time is upon us as exam season looms, but with warm and sunny days becoming more frequent, many students are probably asking themselves a necessary question: “What am I supposed to do when I have a mountain of work to complete but want to enjoy the first tastes of the warm(ish) Scottish sunshine?”
This is where we here at The Saint have come up with a solution for all of you wondering how to recover from the effects of seasonal depression when you’re confronted with a list of assignments to complete on a sunny day. We are taking ‘Library Listens’ outdoors so you can enjoy a good soundtrack in the sunlight while also keep your grades afloat. Feel free to take this playlist with you as you write a film analysis at St Mary’s quad or complete a lab report sitting around Sallie’s quad. Its heftiness shall sustain you for a five-hour outdoor study-session. To compile this behemoth of a repertoire for an academically- rigorous afternoon on St Mary’s quad, I ransacked my own personal spotify account and plucked some of my favourite songs from my previous warm weather playlists: upbeat folky music, some sweeter singer- songwriter melodies, chill indie tunes, and even a couple of colourful classical pieces. I also thought it essential to include a sizable amount of cheerful oldies to ccomplete the vibes of this compilation, from “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac (a personal favourite of mine), “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys, and Toploader’s 2000 cover of “Dancing in the Moonlight.” We all know that a little bit of musical nostalgia is all it takes to provide an instant mood booster, especially mid study-session when you’re buried under all of your final assignments for the semester.
I chose to repeat a few songs from last issue’s ‘Library Listens’ playlist because I thought they bled over into the atmosphere I am trying to create for this week; most notably the repeat of “Campus” by Vampire Weekend. I think that many people feel that the quads and various outdoor spaces around town become the centre of campus during warm weather days. Conveniently located, the quads are the heart of the university, and so “Campus” only seemed like an appropriate upbeat song to include as an homage to our beloved gardens. I also have a few more Vampire Weekend songs on this playlist, such as “This Life,” “Harmony Hall,” and “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin.” I think the band’s music perfectly balances chill and upbeat elements, making them perfect for a nice sunny day chilling outside.
I also decided to add a couple of French tunes in there as well, something about the ones featured this week give me very much fresh, sunny spring vibes. I included one of my all time favourite songs, “Ondulation” by Burning Peacocks. This song always reminds me of clear skies and the ocean, so if you’re feeling a little cheeky, you could even take a picnic blanket to West Sands and bring your study session to the beach. Just be mindful of getting sand in your computer! I felt the need to feature certain artists multiple times throughout this compilation, as it wasn’t enough to include just one song, so watch out for a handful of tracks by Maggie Rogers, Lord Huron, Gregory Alan Isakov, and the Lumineers. I assure you this playlist is armed with a variety of tunes to keep up with not only your work ethic, but your desire to sit outside in the sun. You can find this playlist as well as other ‘Library Listens’ on The Saint’s Spotify Account.