Every spring, the students of Central Florida are given a few warning signs that final exams are upon us. The temperature shoots up to 90 degrees, the month of May is in close sight, and campus starts to seem much more crowded with everyone going to class more often to save themselves the guilt of possibly getting a C. It's one of the only times every year that everyone on campus is united by a common feeling: stress. A feeling that so many of us have become immune too, yet seem to struggle with more and more each year. What many students don't realize is that the way they study may be attributing to this unnecessary stress. The key to solving this problem is realizing whether or not you're studying effectively.
Some of us study too much, while others study nowhere near the amount of time they should be. There are those students who are particular about the time of day they do their homework, the types of food they eat to "help them focus," or even cramming because they work more efficiently under added stress. Well, what if I told you that where you study could quite possibly be more important than how you study.
First things first, distractions are the biggest detraction from studying as effectively as possible. Personally, I haven't been able to study or do homework in my bedroom since I was halfway through middle school. This is mostly due to the fact that my bed is also in my room and makes napping that much more tempting. The library is absolutely out of the question as well because it seems like people go there for social hour more so than for studying. For me, the library is a last resort for awkward group projects with classroom acquaintances who you wouldn't want anywhere near your apartment. Another place I refuse to study in, are those "study rooms" that they randomly situate in the dorm buildings. In my opinion, the atmosphere in those rooms is just miserable. If I want to feel like a freshman again, I'll visit the dining hall, not an empty, dimly lit room at the end of my hallway. So, the question now is, where is the best place to study?
I guarantee that everyone is going to have a different answer to this question. It depends mostly on your personality and your overall study habits. Those who know me well enough will tell you that for the past four years I've only been able to study in one place: Panera Bread. Some of you reading are probably finding this to be strange, but as a firm believer in the psychology of study habits, I find Panera to offer the best atmosphere for my learning personality. It starts with examining what kind of person you are. Take myself for example: I'm extroverted, can only study with background noise or music, and work best when I'm surrounded by people. It's not surprising that I would work best in a loud bakery cafe, surrounded by the smell of coffee and the sound of multiple conversations going on at the same time. Other students might hate this altogether. The introverted private type might prefer to lock themselves in their room with absolute silence for hours on end. Personally, this would drive me crazy, but that's what I meant when I said that everyone studies differently. Where you study is, in my opinion, a personality trait, and should be treated as such.
The next time you wonder if you're studying effectively, you may want to ask yourself if the location you tend to study in is actually conducive to your personality and your ability to learn efficiently. Examine your personality and find where it fits best. Final exams are the toughest time of the semester. Having to re-teach yourself three months worth of material that a scrub T.A. reiterated all semester can seem like a challenge, but you'll be surprised when you find out that, like real estate, the most important variable in everyone's key to success is Location, Location, Location.