Creating the Perfect Studying Environment

Cracking open a text book and reading, or working through math or science equations will not help you learn if you are not truly concentrated on what you are working on. Getting, and keeping, the motivation and focus to study can be challenging for even the most dedicated students. Finding a good study environment makes hitting the books less stressful and increases your productivity. Whether you have noisy roommates or just need a change of scenery, here are some options for creating your perfect study environment.

Music

One of my studying essentials is a good sound track. I find instrumental or classic music to be the best. I also enjoy artists like Bon Iver or Coldplay, whose music is a little mellower. The type of music I am listening to also depends on the type of studying or homework I am doing. I usually prefer instrumental pieces for reading or writing. If I am working through accounting problems, I will put on some Adele or Maroon 5. You need to explore what artists and generes work well with your studying mentality. Cannot seem to find the perfect fit? Try the Harry Potter soundtrack. Nothing makes studying more enjoyable than the sounds of Hogwarts playing in the background.

Location

Where you do your studying can have a big impact on your concentration. The thought of spending hours in the library may be dreadful, but it is probably the best place to keep you focused. Some libraries have separate talking and quiet sections to accommodate group work. You can sit with your friends in the talking section, but remember you are there to study, not socialize. Sitting at a desk in an enclosed room can get a little overwhelming, so try and sit next to a window or a room with windows for the walls. It will make you feel less tied down. If you have an easier assignment or something that you feel does not require hard concentration, try studying outside! You spend all day in lecture halls and it is nice to get some fresh air.

Time

The time of day you start studying is going to be dictated by your class schedule. If you feel like you study better in the afternoon, try and schedule your classes in the morning. I try to avoid studying late into the night because I feel I do not retain as much information once the day starts to wear on me. But, unfortunately, all-nighters can be a common occurrence in college. If you do have to stay up past midnight, do not be afraid to get up and take breaks frequently. If you keep moving around it will help you feel more awake physically and mentally. During finals week, you will not have your class schedule to work around. Make a studying schedule with a good balance between all your subjects. Include time for breaks, meals and a decent amount of sleep.

Organization

If you are working with multiple subjects, keeping your study space organized will help you stay productive. Decide what you want to focus on first and put everything else aside. Utilize sticky notes and highlighters to keep track of the pages you read and the notes you take. When you are buying school supplies, buy different colored folders and notebooks so you know what to grab for each class. If you have everything organized, you spend less time trying to figure out where everything is and more time learning and retaining information

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Caitlin Furin

Caitlin Furin

Caitlin Furin is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in journalism and strategic communication. With an interest in social media, she can often be found exploring the Facebook walls, Twitter feeds and Pinterest profiles of big brands. Her laptop and iPhone never leave her side. Outside of school and work, Caitlin can be found enjoying a good TV show or two and spending time with her friends and family.
Caitlin Furin

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