Finding the right study spot can bring your focus up to the next level.
Where do you study? Tell me in the comments below.
Studying in your dorm can work assuming your roommate isn’t a turd (yes… I’m talking to you… :P) But it’s complicated to keep the place quiet. You and your roommate need to be on the same wavelength about it. Usually, there is an easier way. There are enough complications between roommates. Keep it simple by moving your studying out-dorm.
The library is one of the only places you can study with the general expectation of silence.
People usually understand that you’re supposed to be quiet in a library. That makes it an awesome place to bring your textbooks and papers when you’re looking for quiet. If someone does get a little loud they end up with evil death stares until they learn to zip it.
It’s not the perfect place.
You’re surrounded by people. If you happen to know some of them then you’re bound to get interrupted once or twice by friendly hellos. It’s not deadly for studying but it can pull your trains of thought right off into the ditches.
2. Your Car
If you own a car then you have your own private room (with locks on the door.)
Assuming you’re not someplace where you’ll drown yourself in your own salty sweat, this can be the ideal spot. Almost no one will be able to bother you, even if they wanted to. They couldn’t find you because you’ll be parked someplace else every time. And… since you’re in a parking lot, everyone around you has important places to go. They probably won’t bother you.
It can be a little anti-social but it’s a great place when you’re usual spots are all taken. If you’re a commuting student then it could be ideal since you don’t have to carry your stuff everywhere.
3. Empty Classrooms
Do you want a place to study directly after class? Well… you could always just hang out in the classroom until other students start showing up.
In some colleges, half the classrooms you walk by won’t have any classes taking place. If you happen to pop in for a little bit of studying then you’re in a great study zone.
It comes with the advantages of:
- No one knowing exactly where you are
- Silence (but it’s slightly unpredictable.)
- Plenty of different locations
You may be asked to move every once in awhile but you’ll often have hours of complete study isolation.
4. The “Lab”
Yes. Sometimes you need stuff to do your studying.
That’s what the lab is for.
While it lacks the silence expectations of a library, people rarely hang out in the lab to have fun. Odds are, most students are going to be busy worrying about their own problems to interrupt other people.
If you’re looking to minimize distractions then:
- Go early in the morning
- Go later in the evening
- Wear headphones (even if you don’t listen to anything.)
- Find a quiet nook (or intentionally sit next to someone else that’s quiet.)
When it comes to finding good times to use the lab, I often just peek in whenever I’m going by. If it looks like a good time then I might change my plans.
5. Your Pocket
Your pocket happens to be the perfect size for a set of flashcards (or maybe your phone to use Anki.)
Studying doesn’t have to be restricted to long study sessions. In fact, spending 5 minutes studying every few hours can dramatically improve your ability to remember stuff. This kind of studying maximizes active recall and spaced repetition.
Carry study material with you as much as possible and you’ll get the chance to steal study time whenever you have it.
Waiting in line? Study a few flashcards.
Trying to not look bored? Pull out your phone to study a card or two. (Everyone will assume you’re texting.)
Your car stuck in a snowbank in a blizzard? Well… first try to get help. But if that doesn’t work, you might as well use your last minutes to study 😀
The great outdoors is a whole lot greater now that so few people use it.
Seriously… everyone is always at home on their computers or in a classroom or job. College campuses can be totally dead in some outdoor areas. Take advantage of that.
Look around campus for quiet comfortable nooks that you can use for studying.
Outside can get a little dirty. It isn’t always completely comfortable. Weather can ruin it.
But… the weather will sometimes make up for all the challenges. There is nothing better than sitting in the sun for a few minutes. It can boost your mood (even if you are stuck studying.)
7. Your Skull
You know… that thing that you bounce sports scores and phone acronyms around in?
You don’t need a quiet place to study when you’re familiar with the material you need to learn.
Try sitting and remembering the lecture your teacher gave. It’s tough. Isn’t it? That’s pushing your active recall. Anything you can remember will end up sticking way better for the test.
A big chunk of studying isn’t pulling out flashcards or your textbook. It’s just thinking about the info. Thinking about the stuff you need to learn allows you to get a deeper understanding. It keeps the information linking up in different ways.
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Seem boring? Well… that’s probably because you’re doing it wrong.
Find a way to make the subject you’re trying to learn fun. How do you make it fun?
- Make fun of it
- Try imagining it literally
- Figure out what different dirty things it reminds you of
Having the right study spot can make a huge difference in your ability to learn.
Don’t waste your time studying someplace that you can’t get yourself to focus consistently. Every time you lose focus you make it more difficult to regain that focus in the future. Find a spot where you can enjoy the sweet consistent focus that gives you glorious grades.
Where is your awesome study spot? Don’t worry! I won’t tell anyone. Post it in the comments below.
Let me tell you (an inappropriate) true story…
It was high school Spanish class…
I was a Senior in a class of Sophomores. There was one other Senior in the class. Best of all –
She was smokin’ (as the old folk say.) She was gorgeous. 10 out of 10. Tight jeans. And she always sat right in front of me in class (gulp.)
We were the only Seniors in the class. By default… that made me the coolest guy there… And trust me… I’m never the coolest guy there.
But we’d talk. Sometimes in class she’d lean over. I’d continue to pretend me importa la espanol stuff pero… Seriousamente… 😛
Sure… I’d show up to class. But my brain rarely stuck around for the lecture. And that’s why you might not be surprised I was getting a C- in class.
It’s funny how that stuff that distracted me in highschool wasn’t so problematic in college where I took a double course load and still scored near the top of my class…
You don’t need to be perfect to score near perfect.
You just need to know how…