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January 31, 2021

by Jon Lorence Panelo

For the past few months, we all may have once asked the same question. How can students like me cope with boredom and loneliness as two of the enemies of survival during this time of a pandemic? As mental well-being continues to be a growing concern among students of all year levels, especially during this pandemic, listening to uplifting music and podcasts help keep students sane. One’s tastes and preferences for music and podcasts vary depending on their interests, environment, or even on their peers’ influences and the trends of the vast digital world. No matter what genre of music or podcasts one prefers over the other, listening to wholesome music and podcasts serves its purpose of having a positive outlook, significantly impacting students under home quarantine nowadays.

Nevertheless, before anything else, you may have wondered what the differences between music and podcasts are. Are they similar in helping to keep one sane amidst this pandemic? What are the benefits of listening to music and podcasts besides improving my listening skills? Allow me to break these questions down in the succeeding paragraphs.

Music is defined as the art concerned with combining vocal or instrumental sounds for beauty of form or emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody, and harmony. Nowadays, the music extends beyond traditional vocal or instrumental sounds as even language is not anymore a barrier as one listens to music. As the Korean wave continues to take over the world by storm, people worldwide continue to listen to Korean Pop Music for healing and a good mood despite it being sung and performed in a different language. Similarly, podcasts also make use of music nowadays and extend beyond the traditional radio or audio-only format. Podcasts were defined as digital audio files made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series. However, technological advancements and the various social media platforms now make podcasts come with video footage and available for online streaming and offline downloading. Podcasts are also filled with numerous topics to choose from on life skills, academics, or any topic under the sun.

Despite its differences in availability, accessibility, and even genres, both music and podcasts serve their purpose of being beneficial to students during a community quarantine. Listening to either of the two feels like someone is communicating with you even if you are alone. Certain types of music such as ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response defined as a feeling of well-being combined with a tingling sensation as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound calms people or even soothes those who feel anxious when alone. The same goes with podcasts, as basically, almost any topic has its corresponding podcast series or episode nowadays. One of which is HOW DID I GET HERE, which states that “where we live our best lives on the Internet and come out the other side knowing more but not feeling all that much smarter.” Such podcast provides wholesome topics on cognitive bias, attachment theory, love languages, inner monologue, and many more.

Listening to music and podcasts not only improves listening skills or keeps students sane during this time of a pandemic, as communication skills are also strengthened along the way. Communication skills are improved through learning different languages, adding up to your vocabulary, and even be able to practice speaking more confidently. Moreover, listening to music and podcasts is a productive experience that adds up to one’s knowledge as every single song or episode listened to is a continuous learning form.

As students continue to venture into their academics during this new and normal setting, listening to music and podcasts is an effective coping mechanism to fight boredom and loneliness. With all the benefits that both music and podcasts have to offer, I am encouraging every one of you, my fellow AISAT students, to join me as we listen to music and podcasts that do not only keep us sane but also add up to our productivity and knowledge amidst this pandemic. Just as the lyrics to Airplane by ONEUS say “Like an airplane, let’s fly above the sky every day, behind the clouds, all the way to the end, like an airplane.” Let us all continue to let our dreams take flight for the rest of the year and the many more years to come my fellow AISAT aviators!