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Motivation and Mondays are not usually one-in-the-same.  It’s the start of the same routine, week after week.  Usually, the emergence of Monday morning means less flexibility in your schedule, free time to do fun things, and enjoyment of the little tasks that you have to do.  This is what most people’s weeks look like until Friday afternoon.

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Something that I have been into lately is listening to my Spotify Discover Weekly, released every Monday and available for the whole week.  On the next Monday morning, a new playlist is ready.  Spotify creates these playlists for each user every week.  No two people have the same playlist, and no two playlists made for each person are identical.  The same way that platforms like Netflix suggest shows for your watching, Spotify suggests music for your listening.  Spotify taps into its intelligence of over 75 million users and automatically generates 2-3 hours of new music for each user.  The technology Spotify uses takes people’s personal interests and creates data layers.  These data layers go into algorithms that generate the playlists, and each song is picked based on other users’ common interests.  In other words, if many users like songs X, Y, and Z, a user that frequently listens to songs X and Y, but has not yet listened to song Z, would get song Z recommended to them in their Discover Weekly.

I started casually turning to this playlist to listen to new music, since my go-to playlist was becoming old and repetitive.  Now, I listen to it almost religiously every Monday—and sometimes even throughout the whole week.  It has become something that I can genuinely look forward to every Monday morning.   Here’s three reasons you should incorporate your Discover Weekly playlist into your Monday schedule:

1) It motivates you to start your week.

One of the hardest parts of starting any week of work, school, or both is just finding the will to get out of bed, especially for anyone who is absolutely not a morning person.  One of the most energizing things that you can do is to listen to music from the time you get up until the time you leave the house.  It gives you a rhythm to get ready to, keeps your mind stimulated as you try to wake it up for the day and boosts your initial creative thoughts which you can apply to your work.

Sometimes, the album or artist you usually turn to can just get old, tiring, or uninspiring.  Discover Weekly uses algorithms to determine what you have not yet listened to on Spotify, and often ends up showing you artists you haven’t even heard of before.  Generally speaking, the songs recommended to you will be similar in genre and style to songs that you frequently choose to play.  However, there have been times where I have been thrown curveballs that sound nothing like what I normally listen to.  Sometimes, it surprises me how much I like completely new sounds, and I think it helps me to stay as open as possible to things I normally don’t consider ‘my taste.’  New music refreshes your mindset, and having 30 brand new songs to look forward to every Monday morning can prep you for the week ahead,  to the point that you may be excited to wake up on Mondays.

2) You can get anywhere from 1-30 new favorite songs.

Every week varies in the quality of the songs presented on your Discover Weekly.  Some weeks are absolute duds, and you find yourself only listening to each song once and then moving on, selecting the ‘I don’t like this song’ option for each one and not hearing them ever again.  If you like it, you can give it the ‘heart,’ and Spotify will automatically save it to your library.  If you dislike it, you can either choose ‘I don’t like this song’ or ‘I don’t like this artist,’ and Spotify will immediately take it off of your playlist and incorporate that feedback into the algorithms of your future playlists.  But some weeks are absolutely golden.  There was one week about a month ago when I found 12 new songs that I absolutely adored, and I still listen to them on a regular basis.  Most of my favorite songs that I listen to daily now I discovered through various Discover Weeklies.

This is the cool thing about the way Spotify has programmed Discover Weekly.  You can give feedback on every song.  This means that in future weeks, you can get recommended more songs similar to the ones you like, and less songs similar to the ones you don’t.  So, the more you listen to your personalized playlists and give feedback on them, the more accustomed to your style they are going to become.

 

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With new music comes a new-found creativity, and that creativity can help your success in the following days.

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 3) It’s something to look forward to.

The death of a weekend is never fun.  On Monday mornings, it’s easy to wish the week away while you wait for  Friday.  Listening to your Discover Weekly can give you a positive mindset of ‘I can’t wait for Monday morning.’  Even though it’s just new music and could end up being a flop, at the dawn of a new and hectic week, the little things really help to brighten your mood.

With the release of each Discover Weekly, Spotify gives us a chance to be re-energized, re-inspired, and renewed.  With new music comes a new-found creativity, and that creativity can help your success in the following days.  It’s a small part of a long week, but it can have a large impact on your life when appreciated.

 

Hailey is an honors student at the University of Kentucky studying marketing and journalism. She writes for bSmart as an editorial intern, and she contributes to the sports and lifestyle sections of her college’s student-run paper. In her free time, Hailey loves cheering for the Kentucky Wildcats and any sports team from Pittsburgh, making new playlists on her Spotify, and feeding her writing passion.

 

  1.   November 17, 2018
  2.   Technology

It’s been a few weeks since Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to sit as a Supreme Court Justice, and the media has since stopped covering the story in its spotlights.  When major events in our country are no longer broadcast in high amounts, it is easy to forget that they happened entirely.  However, this event in particular should not be forgotten by us women in the midst of the epidemic that sexual assault has become.

The biggest repercussion of the confirmation is the setbacks it implies in terms of the #MeToo movement.  Having Kavanaugh, an alleged perpetrator of sexual violence, hold the highest position in the land that is responsible for delivering justice raises the questions, ‘When will attackers be held accountable?’ and ‘Are there any real consequences for suspects of alleged sexual assault?’  In a society where attackers are already often given much lighter-than-deserved sentences, the progress towards safety for women has taken a huge step backwards.

What the Kavanaugh confirmation shows the country is that the people in power regularly exercise the choice not to believe women when they make claims about sexual assault.  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward to the world about her experience with Kavanaugh decades ago.  Senators on the judicial confirmation committee claimed that since it was a long time ago, it was not credible information.  She could have been mistaking some of the facts that she was claiming, including the fact that it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her.  Though psychologists have confirmed that events such as these are so traumatic that it is impossible for the brain to forget the details, people still choose to not believe in Ford’s testimony.

But this is about more than just believing in Dr. Ford’s poignant allegations.  It is about what this means going forward in the fight against sexual assault culture.  Kavanaugh’s confirmation sets a precedent for future perpetrators of sexual violence.  If this man can commit horrible acts, and then go on to be awarded the highest honor in the country’s judiciary system, are there any real consequences?

Bill Cosby received only 3-10 years of prison time for drugging and raping a woman in his home (along with many other unconfirmed allegations).  Brock Turner received a six month sentencing for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, and was released for “good behavior” after serving only half of that.  When this is how our country’s justice system works, what message are we presenting about how much our country values women’s safety?  Is Kavanaugh, a man who has faced sexual assault allegations and is now responsible for giving justice to victims, going to side with the woman whose life has been near ruined, or the young man within whom he sees himself?

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Becoming complacent in Kavanaugh's confirmation is not an option if we want to see real results.  

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This moves the #MeToo movement and the process of ending overall violence against women several steps back.  A new enemy has been introduced to the fight against sexual assault culture.  This fight goes to the root of the problem: sexism.  ‘Boys will be boys’ is a trope that has evolved more into a scapegoat in order to protect boys’ reputations.  If ‘boys will be boys,’ why can’t girls be girls?

Women everywhere live in fear.  No matter their age, what the shade of their skin is, how much they like to go to parties and drink, what they wear on a daily basis, or who they consider their friends, every woman has to live with the constant fixation: ‘Am I going to be next?’  A woman cannot live her life as fearlessly as most men.  She has to take extraordinary precautions in her daily life, and is forced to choose safety over enjoyment in too many situations.  Now, this is more true than ever before.

This is why it is so important to keep fighting.  Becoming complacent in Kavanaugh’s confirmation is not an option if we want to see real results.  Making a safer world for ourselves and the women we love starts with this issue.  It is going to take a lot of time and effort to shift the justice system away from favoring the young, clean, smart boy with a ‘bright future’ and towards favoring the young, strong, brave fighter with an equally ‘bright future,’ but the results will be utterly life changing.

 

Hailey is an honors student at the University of Kentucky studying marketing and journalism. She writes for bSmart as an editorial intern, and she contributes to the sports and lifestyle sections of her college’s student-run paper. In her free time, Hailey loves cheering for the Kentucky Wildcats and any sports team from Pittsburgh, making new playlists on her Spotify, and feeding her writing passion.

 

  1.   November 16, 2018
  2.   Politics
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