Sometimes, when it comes to studying, it’s all about where you are. If you’re having trouble getting through the material or focusing on the task at hand, don’t immediately assume it’s because the work is too difficult and that you can’t handle it. Students are quick to get frustrated and give up when an assignment becomes too strenuous. They may end up blaming the material for being too complicated or the teacher for not explaining it logically enough – or worse, end up blaming themselves for seemingly lacking the comprehension skills.
That negative train of thought must be avoided. Students should not be so quick to doubt themselves, the class, or anyone else. Often, the difficulty of the situation can easily be attributed to the environment that students surround themselves with. There is a large plethora of options out there for students to choose as a study space, but they tend to gravitate toward whatever is easiest or most convenient. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the most important thing to recognize is that you have the freedom to study anywhere. Don’t feel restricted to a particular place just because your friends like to go there or because it has a great reputation. Sometimes what others deem to be helpful isn’t something that suits you personally.
Maybe you need absolute silence when you study, or perhaps a bit of commotion puts you at ease. Music or coffee may be necessary. The good news is, there is always a place somewhere that can address all of your needs. All you need to do is explore a little and find it.
The Library: This is good for students who cannot have any distractions whatsoever while they study. A library will provide you with the kind of pin-dropping silence you can rarely find anywhere else. The never-ending selection of books lined up on shelves all around you will create an atmosphere of academia that is hard to ignore. Tables and chairs set up all over the place ensure that you have room to work and computer labs are often available as well. There is no shortage of academic resources in this environment for you to turn to. From pencils to a thesaurus to heavy research material, you will not be left with an excuse to stop studying. Additionally, the studious people sharing this space with you will be doing the exact same thing you are, so it will be nearly impossible to feel out of place and transition to doing something else.
Your Room: Ideally, this is the most comfortable place in the world for you. It’s personally tailored to who you are and has everything you need. If you’re the type of person who dislikes being in foreign territory when studying, then this is where you should be. Sit at your desk, lie on your bed, or set up camp on the floor. This is your haven and you can situate yourself as you please, so pick the area that makes you the most relaxed. Once you’re truly relaxed, you’re likely to focus much better and comprehend your study material far more quickly. Turn on some music at a soft volume if that completes the atmosphere. Plus, being in your room means you don’t have to worry about bothering anyone else, so feel free to speak your thoughts aloud. Sometimes a technique like that can really help you feel comfortable with the material and identify with it personally. Overall, if you find that your room complements who you are in your every-day routine, it may complement your studying just as well.
Coffee Shops: This environment is for students who look for a balance between the comfort of their home and the sharp silence of a library. Coffee shops give you the reassuring atmosphere of other people reading and studying, but they also include people socializing and rushing in and out. Nothing is too obnoxious, but nothing is perfectly calm either. A coffee shop allows you to get outside of the restricted study habitat and do something slightly fun. Yet, at the same time, it give you space to work and of course, countless drink orders to keep you fueled. Especially for those who crave caffeine to focus, a place like this will cater to your every need.
Outside: Obviously, this can only really apply to when the weather is nice enough. Once that sun is out and the temperature is just warm enough for your liking, studying outside can be absolutely intoxicating. The benefits of a beautiful day can easily get the best of you and leave you feeling content enough to confidently set your mind to an assignment. Be warned, however, a beautiful day can also easily distract you and leave you wanting to do anything but study. One way to avoid this is by only going to areas where there isn’t a great amount of people around. For instance, if you are a college student and you set up your study session on the quad in the middle of campus, the students playing Frisbee and rushing to class may not be conducive to your situation. Go somewhere peaceful where you can hear your own thoughts and enjoy the fact that you are being productive without feeling trapped indoors.
School: Why not go right to the source? For high school students, there are often various areas such as certain classrooms or counseling offices that are designated for studying. Don’t hesitate to spend a lunch period there once in awhile or show up before or after school. It is a school, after all – they encourage it. For college or graduate students, check out certain academic buildings that have reputations for having great study lounges – you will find no lack of these on any campus. A study space like this puts you directly in the learning and testing environment. Never underestimate how much those blunt educational conditions can inspire you.
The list does not stop there – hidden gems of study spaces exist everywhere and in all forms. Figure out what is most important to you to get your work done and then take yourself to the place that encompasses it all.