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By Dianne Miranda

Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 20: Soundtrack to University Life

By: Daman Singh, Jocelyn Hadford, Ramiro Bustamante Torres, Ansharah Shakil, Dylan Carrasco, Valery Perez, Leonie O’Sullivan, Sheroog Kubur and Dianne Miranda, November 23 2023—

November is the midterm season. Late-night study sessions, caffeine-fuelled marathons and the light at the end of the tunnel – a well-deserved break. Here is the Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 20: Soundtrack to University Life to romanticize your university life as a means to survive this thrilling yet nerve-wracking journey of madness that is academia.


  • “Heart Out” by The 1975
    • You’ve just put your docs on and have decided to stomp down the hallways.
  • “your clothes” by Jane Remover
    • Sometimes all you need is some digital noise to zone out the slow walkers in the tunnels.
  • “Change of the Season” by The Hi Tops
    • Local Calgary icons to make your day good.


  • “Oxford Comma” by Vampire Weekend
    • Who cares about an Oxford comma? Me and my homies write CP style.
  • “You’re Gonna Go Far” by Noah Kahan
    • For when you’re homesick and losing motivation.
  • “ballad of a homeschooled girl” by Olivia Rodrigo
    • When the campus social anxiety is taking over. 


  • “Rip & Tear” by Mick Gordon
    • Nothing gets me through math like the soundtrack of a videogame where you’re fighting for your life.
  • “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone
    • Miss Simone reminds me I cannot hide anywhere when I need to repent and finish an assignment.
  • “Violin Partita no. 3 in E major: Prelude” by J.S. Bach played by Hilary Hahn
    • Sometimes you have to romanticize your degree to get through it, especially if there’s some course you would rather not take but they’re part of your requirements.


  • “Hard to Explain” by The Strokes
    • “I’ll miss the last bus, I’ll take the next train” is the best attitude to have when you’re late to class. 
  • “Headphones Baby” by The Vaccines
    • This is the perfect song to block out everything else when you’re walking around campus with your headphones in.
  • “Blue Monday” by New Order
    • The best song for Mondays.


  • “I Believe” by Caroline Polachek
    • The pumping synths of this song help re-energize my fried brain and makes me feel like I can conquer the day as I sing along, telling myself “I believe.”
  • “It’s Okay To Cry” by SOPHIE
    • The pressure to be an “academic weapon” and “stay on that grind” can be a lot, so this song is for allowing yourself a few minutes of release. 
  • “Space 1” by Nala Sinephro
    • Peaceful ambient music not only helps calm the chaos in my head, but also helps with those countless assigned readings.


  • “Mr. Fox in the Fields” by Alexandre Desplat
    • The symphonies in this song give me so much serotonin in such dark times.
  • “The Shire” by Howard Shore
    • I’m a big LOTR fan and it’s the only thing that still gives me a will to live during these hard academic times.
  • “Dawn – From ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Soundtrack” by Dario Marianelli, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    • By this point, you guys can probably tell that I rely heavily on nostalgia to carry me through.


  • “Star” by Oliver Tree
    • This song provides some much-needed mid-semester reassurance. Just imagine he is singing it to you (lol). 
  • “Out Of The Woods (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift
    • The lyrics “Are we out of the woods? Are we in the clear yet?” A perfect analogy for getting through midterms.
  • “Getaway Car” by Taylor Swift
    • Fantasize about leaving all your problems and exams behind in a getaway car. 


  • “Hard Out Here.” by Raye
    • Raye was right. It is hard out here but we will bounce back. 
  • “Outta My Mind” by cholothagod
    • I am mildly out of my mind during this time of year but I still have time to have fun. 
  • “Time Is Running Out” by Muse
    • Even thought it may feel like your time is running out, you still have enough time to bump this banger. 


  • “Knucklehead/ Happy Rain” by Jeffrey Lewis
    • The perfect repetition of chords and the background noise of rain somehow switches my brain to turn into reading mode. 
  • “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” by Deftones
    • Indeed please let me get what I want—to understand the content and pass.
  • “Hasta la Raiz” by Natalia Lafourcade
    • I struggle studying with music so classical music or songs in a language I do not understand are my go-tos. This song especially gives the emotion that I am indeed flying away from something (studying) and that these late-night studying are one of the things I am going through that can only make me stronger.

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