College Advice Blog

Apr 6, 2012

Best Places for Students to Study on And Off Campus

So you've finally figured out the most expedient way to get to all of your classes, you've discovered the cafeteria, the student health center, and the campus movie theater, and you've even found a few kitschy coffee shops and cheap-o, greasy-spoon diners within walking distance. Unfortunately, none of these places will help you to get much studying done. All of them come with distractions like food, noise, and people that will only ensure that it takes you twice as long to slog through your homework and studying (if you get them done at all). But if you're serious about making the most of your college education, it behooves you to find places that are appropriate for study so you can jam through your work and have some time left for fun. Here are a few quiet locales that can deliver the studious atmosphere you seek.

The best place, as you may have guessed, is the library. With plenty of reference materials at your disposal, sheltered desk space to separate you from your neighbors, a policy of silence to help curb disruptive behaviors, and generally, a WiFi hotspot to get you connected, the campus library is your best bet for frequent and uninterrupted study sessions. It's certainly better than listening to your annoying roommate Skyping with her boyfriend, snapping gum, or blasting her emo music day and night. Even when she's not around you can hear people three rooms over through the thin walls; dorms just aren't conducive to the peace and quiet required for expedient study sessions. So head to the campus library, or if it's full up for finals week, take a bus to its city counterpart; it's bound to have more space and less students.

Of course, if the weather is nice you may also want to find a spot on the quad or scout out nearby public parks. With benches galore and plenty of springy grass to relax on, the green spaces on campus and around your city could just offer the respite you're seeking after hours spent in a stuffy classroom for lecture or lab. There may be a few distractions here and there (Frisbee players, yelling students/kids, etc.), so find yourself a lonely bench, soak up some sunshine, and put in your ear buds to drown out the noise with a little Bach (believe it or not, classical music has been proven to help people focus and retain information when studying). Also helpful is nature, which tends to aid in relaxation, soothing the stresses of daily life so you can fully immerse yourself in the task at hand.

Even though these are some great options, your campus may offer one more that is largely unknown to the student populace. Many colleges have special study areas dedicated to honors students and they generally consist of private rooms where you can close a door and shut out the world. Sometimes they have the amenities of home (a comfy chair, a stereo system with headphones, lighting that isn't fluorescent) to make you feel more comfortable. But often you have to be an honors student to use them. Of course, the library may also have private rooms, although they are likely to be less comfortable and are usually in high demand.

Unless you're planning to go for a masters communications online degree, you'll simply have to put up with studying amongst other students (rather than in the comfort and relative quiet of your own home); but there are ways around the distractions. All you have to do is find a few places that are conducive to study so that you always have somewhere to go during crunch time.

About The Author 
Evan Fischer is a contributing writer in the areas of education and personal finance. He is also a part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

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