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Why Outdoor Studying is Key to Staying Focused in Spring Quarter

You are back on campus and feeling great.  The weather is warming up and you are still high on the relaxation and rejuvenation from Spring Break.  There is only one thing that stands in your way of utter bliss: Spring Quarter.  Remember?  There are still ten weeks of class left before complete freedom!  I know for me, Spring Quarter proves to be the hardest quarter to remain focused, so I am going to share with you why studying outside is key to staying focused this quarter

You are going to Feel Guilty if You Don’t

I know after a day of studying inside on a gorgeous day, I always feel guilty that I wasted such a beautiful day indoors.  Yes, another day like this will come again, but in Seattle you never know when one nice day will be the last before a week of showers.  Luckily at UW, there are many outdoor study spots for you to set up camp for a while and get some serious work done.  Next time you find yourself gazing out your dorm window at the gorgeous weather, grab your backpack and head to the quad for a study session while soaking up some vitamin D.

You will Get More Done

I have found that when I go outside to study, I am more likely to get work done.  Checking Facebook and Twitter is much more difficult when the sun is putting a huge glare on your laptop.  You will be forced to focus in reading those five chapters for English class or working the extra “back of the book” chemistry problems when notifications from social media aren’t constantly distracting you.  Another reason why you will get more work done studying outdoors is that you will be surrounded by other people.  In your dorm room you are alone most of the time, making it easier to let distractions get the best of you.  It is easy to take a five – err thirty minute study break to get a snack when no one is there to see it.  Outdoors, surrounded by your peers, you will inevitably feel more compelled to get something done, plus those dorm distractions are eliminated. 

You will Feel More Social

Studying and an abundant social life are two aspects of college that are not commonly associated together.  While good grades are a necessity for success in college, social interaction in between study sessions is good for your sanity.  When you study outside, you are surrounded by groups playing Frisbee, friends catching up, and others getting work done just like you.  Being around other people alone is going to make you feel more social and less isolated while studying for midterms.

Spring Quarter, while I still believe is the hardest to concentrate in, provides the most opportunity to remain sane amidst the rigorous UW curriculum.  Our beautiful campus and the frequent nice days lend themselves to the perfect study environment for Spring Quarter.  Next time you find yourself overloaded with work on a nice day, take advantage of all spring in Seattle has to offer and find your spot in the quad to alleviate some of your stress.

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Toni Ruo


Toni is a Midwest-born Finance major at UW. When she's not keeping up with coursework, she enjoys watching baseball with her family, playing french horn, or sipping on a fresh cup of coffee with a good book.
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