If you didn’t already know, being in college means you’re going to spend a lot of time studying. In fact, the average full-time college student spends over 19 hours studying each week. With that much time spent with your nose in a book, it’s essential to make sure you’re retaining the information – and where you study can make a big difference.
As comfortable as it may be to catch up on your readings from the comfort of your bed, you’re not likely to remember everything you read and you could be easily distracted (or even accidentally take a nap).
To help you get outside and distance yourself from distractions, we sat down with some students for tips on how to make the best of those 19 study hours every week!
Hit the library
I know it sounds totally cliché, but my favorite place to study is the library on campus. It’s turned into a social gathering of sorts.
My friends and I get together several nights a week and study together. We’re not all in the same classes, or even studying the same things, but it’s nice to feel like you have support.
A huge added bonus is the café located right out front in case we need a little pick-me-up or a snack to get us through the inevitable all-nighters.
Find an empty room
One of my professors actually let me in on a little secret, you can use empty classrooms to study! It doesn’t always make sense to walk back to my dorm between classes, and sometimes the library is on the other side of campus.
So, when I have breaks between classes, I duck into an empty room. My campus is always so busy, so the silence is nice and I can really focus on what needs to be done.
Reserve a room
This past semester I worked on a lot of group projects and finding a place we all fit where we could actually talk was a little tough.
Then we found out we could actually reserve private study rooms in the library as well as a couple of other buildings. I don’t know why they’re not advertised more! They’re free, and we didn’t have to work in hushed tones or worry about disturbing other students.
The cool thing is I could reserve a room for just myself, too! It was great to avoid my roommates and be productive.
Go somewhere public
I’m not like most students. To me, silence is more distracting than people talking and moving around me. So, I always opt to study somewhere more public. One of my favorite places is the Student Union. They have cushioned booths setup, which makes it a lot more comfortable when I’m stuck sitting there for hours on end. And, if I get there first, I can even snag a seat near one of the fireplaces.
Plus, if I’m hungry, thirsty, or even need a break, everything I need is right there.
Most schools have campus-wide WIFI so you don’t have to be stuck inside if you don’t want to. I’m so lucky that I go to college in Arizona, where the weather is great almost all school year. I hate to admit this out loud, but I actually got my inspiration to study outside from an episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory studies under a beautiful tree in a garden on campus.
I always told myself, “When I get to college, that’s what I’m going to do.” – And I did it! My dorm room is so small, it feels so great to be outside with fresh air and birds chirping. It’s also a great way to get a tan and add some color to my otherwise pale skin.
Find a coffee shop or café
Who doesn’t like coffee, sweet treats, and free WIFI? My favorite coffee shop near campus offers free refills on hot coffee, so it’s the perfect place for me to stay caffeinated and get work done. Sometimes, I don’t have extra money for coffee or pastries, but that’s okay, they still let me take a table to get work done.
I also like the hustle and bustle, I feel like I get so much more accomplished when I’m surrounded by others working away on their computers around me.
Ultimately, it’s good to break away from a routine that you can get too comfortable with. Change it up a bit when it comes to where and when you study. It doesn’t have to be something that you dread, it can be fun, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.
You don’t have to isolate yourself in complete solitude either, sometimes a little background noise is enough to make you feel like you aren’t completely alone. Good luck on those exams and we hope this advice helps you decide where you want to prepare for them.