So a major key to success in studying ISN’T necessarily a clean workspace or a silent atmosphere, it is getting yourself to as many locations as you can. That makes sense if you think about it, too! If you become accustomed to one location, soon sessions of studying become a blended flurry of thought, each subject or detail more difficult to find than the last.
According to LifeHack.com, “In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms – one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard – did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room.” Confirmed, finding new places to grind can benefit you in the long run. It’s much easier to recall a location you were once in than an equation you once wrote down in your bedroom that you lounge in so often. I’m a culprit too.
So if you’re at a loss, I’ve been spending most of the year tracking down new locations to actually study. I don’t mean get an assignment or two done, either. I mean the whole grind, featuring sweatpants, messy buns, and a rainbow of highlighter ink all over your hands. Here are the best places I’ve come up with, followed by the runners-up.
#1: The Quiet Study Room in the Library
This was a no-brainer to say the least. However after spending lots of time in the library I found that the Quiet Study room on the upper floor of the library was the most beneficial location to do all my harder studying. People actually pay attention to the code of silence, even putting my stuff down sent echos through the room. If silence isn’t your gig it’s an ideal location to put some music on through headphones, take up some space on one of the many tables available, and just get into the zone. I’ve found that the back corners of the room provide the most cushion for being relatively out of sight and the best vantage point for people watching when you want to zone out. Also, people are for the most part buried in books themselves, so there’s little to no distractions from others.
#2: The Tutoring Center
Just because you’re in the tutoring center doesn’t mean you need tutoring. When I was taking the dreaded Math 114 I spent many many hours in the tutoring center just to stay on track and not get distracted. If you’re taking certain courses such as Econ 101/206/207 or Math 112/114/157/etc. then there are many tutors willing to help you through the difficult problems you get stuck on. But I have definitely gone in with the intention of getting math done, then ended up taking some extra time to get other things done. Since tutors are doing rounds it almost feels like a classroom, I’m therefore less inclined to be on my phone or goof around at all for that matter. Don’t let this resource go unnoticed!
#3 The Depths of the Atrium
Unless you don’t like a constant food smell, the common area in the Atrium has served as a wonderful, more closed off area to get some studying done. If you get hungry there’s coffee, a student store, pizza, or subs to choose from and other than the white noise of other students during the busier times I’ve managed to get a lot of mindless busywork done in this location. Just pop in some earbuds, fill up a water bottle, and get to studying.
These locations weren’t the most ideal, however productivity wasn’t as bad as I expected. These will include some off campus options as well.
Starbucks: A cornerstone of studying, an ideal environment if you can tune out the steaming of milk or the blending of frappucinos and the chattering of the baristas.
Zoe’s Bagels: I’m really big into people watching, and eavesdropping. Studying is pretty easy until you’re listening in on the interview next to you wondering if this candidate will get the job.
Red Square: Again. People. Watching. Also there’s that impending anxiety from wondering if people are watching you. Also if you’re anything like me pretty weather = distractions forever.
Good luck studying! Lock down your favorite locations before finals hit!