All too often, we as students become so bogged down by our schedules that we forget to make time to cut loose. Those who work hard should also play hard, right? While everyone may have different hobbies, one of my favorite ways to blow off a little steam is by going to concerts. Here are eight reasons why experiencing live music is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

1. You get to see your favorite performers in person.

This one is kind of a given, but there is a stark difference between listening to music and witnessing the surreal escapade that is a live performance.

2. (Most) everyone goes to concerts for the same reason.

With the exception of one or two troublemakers, the lot of concertgoers are all there to have fun and get lost in the music. This is especially prevalent at punk and metal shows. It's always refreshing to see a room full of people letting go of their negative energy for the sheer love of music.

3. Concerts are largely "judgment-free" zones.

This slightly ties into the previous point, but my experience with concerts has almost always been that such events are places where I've felt completely comfortable letting my freak flag fly. You can sing at the top of your lungs and dance like there's no tomorrow. Nobody will judge you.

4. They're a good place to have a good cry.

We all need to "let it out" every now and again. Music has a very potent way of moving people and whether it be the lyrics to a specific song or getting to witness one of your idols in the flesh, live shows are a marvelous means of pouring out your feelings.

5. Many concert venues have a lot of interesting history behind them.

A lot of smaller clubs and theaters are opened out of very old buildings with many containing some truly gorgeous, vintage architecture as well as a bevy of stories about past and present performers. Cain's Ballroom and the Brady Theater, both in Tulsa, Oklahoma are two excellent examples.

6. You will make everlasting memories and have everlasting bragging rights.

I think this point needs no further explanation.

7. If you show up early, you might discover some new favorites.

While some people might roll their eyes and use opening acts as a chance to grab a drink or use the facilities, I have found myself pleasantly surprised far more often than not by the lot of these performers. Expanding your musical palate is never a bad thing.

8. Most concerts are surprisingly affordable.

"Affordable" is a word every college student likes to hear. Granted you can likely expect to pay big bucks for big-name arena performers (not to mention outrageous service fees), this isn't necessarily the case with most concerts. You can typically get away with spending $60 or less on most club and theater shows. That's nothing for an unforgettable night out.