A man and a woman sitting in a cafe studying in front of a computer.

Study Spaces

Author: Camryn Hissen

I just finished my first year in college, and the classes I took this past year were much more academically rigorous than any classes I had taken in the past. I often found myself overwhelmed with everything that I had to get done, and when I sat down to do my work, I often would have a hard time getting anything done. I would either feel bored despite loving the subjects I was studying, or daunted by everything that I had to do. One way that I was able to get my work done more efficiently was by changing the space I studied in.

I think we need to be very selective when choosing the places where we study. Everyone will study better in different places. For example, I am really extroverted and feel a lot more motivated when I'm studying around other people. When I tried to study in my dorm room, I had a hard time working because I felt isolated. By just taking my work outside of my room and sitting by the elevator, I was getting so much more done because I could see people walking by and say hello. Other places that worked better for me were busy areas in the library and in my friends' dorm rooms. When deciding whether to study in someone's room, I evaluated whether the friend would distract me while I studied or help me be productive.

If you are more introverted, these types of places might be draining or overwhelming, and maybe you would rather study in your room. I usually would rather study in my room when I have to work on an assignment that requires a lot of focus. When I study in my room, I like to make sure my space is clean and organized. I also try to keep the room quiet, so when I hear a lot of noise in the background (like when people in the dorms next door are being loud) I'll plug in headphones.

One last strategy I found works for me is changing the location that I study in throughout the day. Whenever I finish a good amount of work and am ready for a break, I'll move from one location to another (for example, from the library to the student cafe). I find that when I move to a new space, I feel more refreshed and ready to start the next task.

Wherever you choose to study, make sure it's a place that will set you up for success. Happy studying!