Anime music helped me study for A levels. Here’s how
It was April. Just weeks away from my first A2 exam on the third of May. And I was in quite a pinch, to be honest. Work was slow and inefficient. My thoughts, more often than not, reassembled the points of a nonlinear scatter graph. All of it was unacceptable. Little time separated me from my days of reckoning, and I was still not quite where I wished to be.
"Why not listen to anime OSTs while studying?" a part of me interjected, suddenly interrupting one of my sessions of perpetual suffering. Lo-Fi tunes and classical music are usually the most popular when it comes to studying, but neither has really worked for me. How would anime soundtracks be any different? Wouldn't I just be squandering precious time and concentration? The idea was fresh, though, and I couldn't resist experimenting a bit. Would my performance shoot up, or would it dip?
I played an hour-long looped version of Ken Arai's "Next To You" from the anime series Parasyte: The Maxim and set to complete a chemistry past paper. Within two repetitions of the loop, I was done with the paper in two hours. I was honestly surprised. At home, it always took me much longer than the designated time to be done with that sort of thing. The experiment was a roaring success, and for most of the day and the rest of that night, if anyone had chosen to stand outside my door and eavesdrop, they'd only be able to discern that same faint, delicate, nostalgic melody.
I repeated the process throughout what time was left, playing a different tune for every question paper and treating myself to a new atmosphere for each chapter of notes. For someone who has great difficulty sitting in one place for too long, the soothing serenity of Masaru Yokoyama's soundtrack for Your Lie in April would help quell my endless agitation. "Loneliness" and the character themes of Light Yagami and L – each an iconic piece from the classic anime Death Note – kept me calm and collected even when things felt like an uphill battle. The otherworldly allure of Yuki Kajiura's soundtrack for The Garden of Sinners even made mathematics feel romantic and mysterious oftentimes.
For, studying has always been mind-numbingly boring. Somehow, the subjects I ended up picking, always threatened to send me into a deep, deep slumber. There's a little cheat code, though. Biology becomes much easier when you feel like a murderous genius with a lethal notebook. Chemistry is almost bearable if you can think of yourself as a Viking warrior searching for his purpose in a carnage-infested world. The key is to discover innovative new ways to like the things that you really don't.
My A levels went well for someone who'd fumbled up a lot in the lead-up. Aside from the people who came through in the times I needed them the most, I suppose even those maestros of music deserve a slice of the credit pie. After all, those days of intense cramming could hardly have been any more fun.
A levels are over and Nayeem is lost once more. Help him decide on his future at email@example.com