No Study Room? No Worries!

If I know anything about college students, I know how much they cherish their study spaces. We all have that one spot at the library, or coffee shop, or apartment that we need to feel focused to study for finals. With most public buildings and restaurants closed, and many students back in their family’s homes, this can be a jarring change. I’m a very adaptable person, but after two weeks of not having my own desk or study space at my family’s house, I knew this wasn't the most productive working environment for me. However, not everyone has this option, and we’re all managing with what we have. I’m here with tips to make wherever you are a productive space so you can kill those finals and finish the semester strong.

Make a list of what you need to be productive.

Need coffee by you at all times? Complete isolation and silence? A study buddy? Background music? An organized workspace? You know what works for you when you’re studying, so do your best to recreate that. If you need to take over your kitchen table for a few hours a day to spread out all your study materials, do it. If you need iced coffee before you can even think of being productive, grab yourself a big thing of cold brew from the grocery store. Make a playlist of music that will keep you relaxed while you study. Get study snacks as rewards and mid-study-session fuel. Do what you need to feel prepared!

Backpack, notebook, laptop Matt Ragland

Make a schedule.

With everyone’s rhythm thrown off, you may have lost all sense of what your schedule used to be. If you’re anything like me, you may not even know what day of the week it is. That being said, creating a schedule for yourself day by day will make a huge difference in productivity and focus. Start by putting in the days and times when you need to take your exams or turn in projects and assignments. From there, move backward and select times you need to wake up, blocks of time committed to studying (without your phone), blocks committed to food breaks and blocks committed to free time for you to unwind. If you’re feeling extra motivated, put aside an extra 30 minutes a day for time working out, or going outside, it’ll give you a huge boost in motivation, positivity and energy.

Make a workspace for yourself.

The most difficult adjustment for me was finding new places to study. I used to work as a receptionist in one of the residence halls before they were closed, and I did almost all my work and studying at that desk when I had downtime. When that was no longer an option, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I went home for a few weeks, but I had to come back to Tallahassee to run my photography business, so I didn’t figure out a solution there. Since I’ve been back in my apartment, I’ve found a few options that work. When I need to do things in complete silence or privacy, I’ve used the desk in my room. During the day when I’m doing assignments or simply studying, I’ve found that my kitchen table can be a nice place to not feel cooped up, but it’s less casual than the couch so I’m still in work mode. If your kitchen table is shared by too many people throughout the day, make your own desk out of a coffee table, a folding table, a tray table or whatever you can find. If you need to get out of the house, my roommate loves going to public parks and setting up her study materials on an outdoor table and bench. You can find something that works for you, it’s just all about adapting.

I hope I’ve provided some new ideas to help you get through this last part of the semester, good luck!


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