Finding a Good Place to Study
One of the keys to effective studying is finding a good location. It's difficult to study in a room full of distractions. However, the ideal location for you may not be the ideal study location for someone else. You may not like studying somewhere private, or even very quiet, but you do want to make sure that you study at a location that is conducive to your method of learning, allows you to concentrate, and is free of distractions.
The reason why it is not always recommended to study in a quiet area is because some people learn better in a room with background noise. While studying in a library with people constantly coming and going, librarians restocking books and people talking is distracting to some, it's the perfect study environment for others. Some students prefer studying in a small cubical where they will not be disturbed by noise or any other visual stimuli, while others like studying right in the middle of bustle and commotion.
The following are general guidelines for selecting a study location. Since everyone has individual study preferences, there is no one best study location for everyone.
Create a routine
Develop a routine by studying in the same place and same time on days you plan to study. Everyone has a personal preference as to where they study, whether it's in a library or dorm room. Regardless of your preference, we recommend studying in the same place. Just make sure to study in a location without distractions. For example, if you like to watch television, it is probably not a good idea to study in a room with a television.
Although it may seem monotonous, it's beneficial to establish a studying routine. This will get you into the habit of studying, and before you know it, it will take little effort to get motivated to study.
Find a location that's comfortable
It is counterproductive to study for extended hours at a time in an uncomfortable environment. For this reason, you should find a place to study that is comfortable. You want to make sure you do not suffer any back, wrist, or other physical discomfort while you study. Even small discomforts can eventually result in more serious physical problems. It's also a good idea to make sure you have all the materials you need to study, such as pens and books, nearby your study area.
It's also a good idea to study in a well lit area since it can be difficult to study with poor lighting even if the environment is perfect. Studying in the basement of a library may seem the perfect location, but if there isn't any natural light, it will have a negative effect.
Evaluate your study preferences
Each individual has unique learning styles, methods and study preferences. Consequently, you should first determine how you learn best before deciding on a study location. You should also know what it is that is most distracting to you. As mentioned, some people can study in noisy environments while others can't. After selecting a study environment best suited your individual preferences, conduct frequent evaluations to determine whether your study sessions are productive. If not, reassess your study location.
Create study rules and follow them
If your study sessions are unproductive, or you're struggling with motivation, establish some personal study rules. After you have established some rules, be sure to tell your parents or other trusted family members and friends to follow up with you. A common rule many people set for themselves is scheduling specific time frames for studying with periodic breaks. If you don't have anyone to follow up with you, it's still a good idea to establish study rules.
Again, there is no one best place to study, only the best conditions that promote effective studying. The following are a few locations that can be ideal for studying.
- Library. The library offers a quiet environment with various study options, including individual cubicles, group study rooms, tables, couches, as well as a variety of information and learning resources.
- Bedroom. This can be an excellent study location given its convenience and comfort. It's also easy to have all your study materials on hand. However, a bedroom isn't always the best place to study if it's too comfortable or there are too many distractions (ie. video games, TV, roommates, etc.).
- Kitchen. The kitchen can be an excellent study location if there aren't too many distractions. Most kitchens are well lit and have seating that requires you to sit up.
- School's study lounge. Whether you're studying alone or in a small group your school's study lounge can be a good place to study. However, if you're prone to socialize with other students you may want to consider a different study location.
- Classroom. An empty classroom can be an excellent place to study. Many colleges allow students to use classrooms for studying while class is not in session. If you can find a classroom that is available while you're at school during the day it might make an excellent study location.
- Coffee shop. Soft background noise, free wifi, great lighting and a relaxed atmosphere can make a coffee shop a great location to study.
Where ever you decide to study, just remember, find a location that is free from distractions, consistently available, comfortable and that fits our unique learning style.