The best place to study on your college campus is one where you will actually study! In order to find a good place, you should look for a location that’s comfortable, quiet and easy for you to visit regularly. Ideally, you want to get out of your main living area on a regular basis, which allows you to focus on your assignments without distractions (like roommates, friends dropping by, television…). You may want to see if you can match the type of studying you need to do to your environment, such as a lab, the library or a place to chat with your study group. Having a ‘regular stop’ is a great study habit – you know when you arrive why you’re there. The more time you study in that place, the more it will become associated with the work of learning. You train yourself to focus better. If you can truly make it ‘yours’, you’ll be even better off. Here are some ideas for finding the best place to study on your college campus.
Campus Undergraduate Library
Captain Obvious reporting for duty. The whole point of having a campus library is to have a quiet place to study. Use it! See if you can find a special hiding place in the stacks – with the idea of making it your own. So why is the library good? Primarily because nearly all the other students there are there for the same reason as you: to study.
If the main library is too much of a train station, consider using one of the other smaller on-campus libraries. Especially if there’s something related to your field of study, it’s a great alternative that will help you focus and give you access to specialized information.
Like specialized libraries, tutoring facilities offer an alternative to a busy main library on campus, while still surrounding you with like-minded students.
Off Campus Library
If there’s a regular public library off campus, that’s another alternative where you’ll have space, quiet and access to tools (like internet connectivity or periodicals) that may come in handy.
Need a change of scenery…literally? On a nice day, study outside. Sure, that may be limited to September and May if you’re attending the University of Michigan or University of Wisconsin, so grab the chance when you can. Being comfortable is a building block for being able to concentrate.
If you’re in a pinch, see if you can find an empty classroom. You’ll at least have a desk or table to yourself.
Between meals, the dorm dining room or a campus cafe may be a decent respite from your daily interruptions. If it’s quiet and available, add it to your options.
Low-Traffic Area of Campus
Is there an area of campus you rarely visit? Odds are good that no one else goes there either. See if you can find a quiet table on campus but in a rarely used building.
We’re big fans of coffee (shocking!), and if you are too, you may like studying at a local coffee shop. The upside is access to the holiest of elixirs and the internet, but the downside is noise and activity. Wear headphones with relaxing music to drown out the bean grinder, milk steamer and barrista banter!
In a Study Group
There’s power in numbers. As we recently wrote, if you can collate notes from other students, you’ll have more complete notes. In a study group, you get access to shared information, the ability to test and teach each other, and potentially access to other good places to study (for example, your classmate may know of a library you never visited or has no roommates to contend with). We highly recommend joining study groups if you can.
Finding the ultimate study spot can be quite a challenge. Below are a few tips for your consideration.
First, try to find a quiet spot at your home where you do NOT have to travel. This could be a room where you could lock the door from peering spectators, etc. If you do not have a single spot at your home you could negotiate with your family by using a room that will have less traffic/access from the family.
Second, go to your local library (somewhere close by with minimal travel time). Most libraries are open in the evening during week days and all day over the weekend.
Third, gain access to an empty room. While at school, work it out with an Instructor to use an empty classroom. Or, if your church have classrooms you could spend time in one of their rooms.
There's no right or wrong study spot. You just have to find that special place that works best for you; so, use what's in your peripheral.
I wish you success with your studying. You'll eventually find what works best for you.