When you think about college, what’s the first image that pops into your head? Is it an impressive library with stone walls or a fun fraternity house? Maybe you imagine volunteering for your community or cheering for your favorite sports team. While university is a time of self-development, change, and growth in many areas beyond scholarship, the only experience that unifies all college students are the courses themselves, the process of higher education. So, while it’s important to be well-rounded, you should also keep in mind that success at college entails hard work and a lot of studying.
Still, learning styles vary and different students perform best in different environments. Some are easily distracted by the continuous movement and the never-ending noise that are so common on campus, while others feel right at home in the middle of it. Whether you’re a social learner or you do your best work in silence and solitude, this list of 5 places to study has something fit for everyone:
This is very tricky, especially if you live on campus. Your roommates and friends are going to stop by every minute and ask you to go out. The constant coming-and-going might make you lose focus. On the other hand, if you live off-campus and you’re renting an apartment, either alone or with a roommate, it is sure to work better for you. Distractions are still everywhere, but as with all else, it depends on the type of person you are. If you can resist the temptation to do literally anything else, studying in your room can be effective, as it gives you a comfort level you won’t find anywhere else.
There are extra steps you can take in order to design your room for productivity and creativity, like decluttering and organizing. To maximize the efficiency of at-home studying, you can ask a study partner to come over, or you can go to their house. Having someone who shares the same goal as you—learning and getting stuff done—will really boost your productivity.
The library has what every student needs, whether that’s the multitude of resources found in modern research libraries, or just a quiet place to focus on the required reading. So grab yourself a cup of coffee, a cozy sweater, and find that study room or cubicle where you can get busy. Consider a desk that’s near a window so your eyes can benefit from some natural light. Take a break every now and then, snack a little, and before you know it you’ll be well into your assignments for the week.
Embrace the hipster culture! A coffee shop is a great place to study, mostly because it has background music and few distractions. Pack your laptop, your books and notes, order a nice cup of coffee, and lose yourself in the realm of knowledge. You’ll be surprised to see how much you can get done in just a few hours if you focus on the task at hand. Stay off social media websites and turn off your notifications to make sure you are not distracted.
There is something about a wall of books that boosts your focus. A bookstore is not a very popular place and as such it will be quiet and peaceful. Many bookstores now offer coffee or tea, and there are comfy sofas and chairs where you can relax and dive deep into those course books. Most stores will offer access to Wi-Fi, so just ask for the password and get to work.
Depending on the season, the location, and the temperatures, you might find that the perfect place for you to study is outside. Whether you go to a park or you stay on campus, or even go to the beach, if – let’s say – you’re renting an apartment in Miami, fresh air will help your focus. Natural backgrounds filled with green or other pleasant colors are the best resting places for your eyes, and there’s no better background music than birdsongs or the sound of waves. Grab a blanket, a sandwich, and a thermos filled with goodness and you’ll have hours to spend studying, while also recharging and connecting with the great outdoors.
You can try out all these places and see which one fits best. Be objective and honest when you make your pick and you will have a much easier time finishing those essays and acing the tests. Switch around different places to break the monotony and ask your friends out for group studying sessions. Once you find the right environment, you’ll be surprised by how much fun learning can be.
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