One of the go-to study spots for most college students is their bedroom. It makes perfect sense. If you don’t have a roommate it often means the only quiet place you can study without distractions. All your books and assignments are right there with you, and boy is it comfortable.
But this is actually one of the worst habits you can develop; particularly because studying in the bedroom often means studying in bed. Bit by bit you begin to drop off, and before you know it, you’ve slept through the night, and quite possibly, your morning exam as well.
So where are the best places to study without distractions and the temptation to shut your eyes for just two seconds?
#1 – The Library
Libraries – especially college libraries – are not the quiet havens they used to be. They’ve become a spot for students to hang out, chat, and watch Netflix movies.
However, virtually any library has a quiet area, which is usually strictly enforced. Your college may call it the reading area, quiet zone, or reference area. Find out where it is, pick a good spot, and sit down for some quiet time with your study notes.
In fact, libraries on campus aren’t the only ones worth visiting. As even the quiet areas of college libraries become packed when finals draw near, consider visiting your local library as well.
#2 – Empty Classroom
There’s no guaranteeing how long it will remain empty, but finding an empty classroom during crunch time is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. You can use the whiteboard to pen out your ideas, and once again, it provides a calm and quiet area for you to study undisturbed.
If you’re part of a study group and actually need the space and freedom to have a few healthy debates and other group activities, a classroom provides a much better opportunity for this than the library.
#3 – Quiet Outdoor Recreational Area
In Jamaica, one of my favourite places to study and write was the beach. However, if there are no quiet beaches – or any beaches at all – in your area, any quiet spot will do. Stay away from parks with children, and instead, look for parks with large grounds, lots of shade, and plenty of flat or slightly sloping areas, for sitting and spreading out your books.
Be sure to check the weather before committing to studying outdoors, and ensure all your devices are fully charged if you need them. Studying at a park is great for both solitary reading, and working together in groups.
If you have a dog, you may be tempted to bring him along, but leave Sparky at home. You’ll have to keep an eye on him, which will only provide further distractions.
#4 – Restaurant or Café
While most people study best in silence, some people need the low hum of social interactions to concentrate. For these people, a quiet restaurant or café suits their purposes best. Don’t be afraid to go alone, find a table for four, and give your textbooks each a place at the table while you wait for your coffee or meal.
This is also a perfect setting for group study activities, if the group is focused enough to avoid the temptation to turn the meeting into a social affair.
#5 – In the Car
Yes, in the car. Perhaps the most unlikely suggestion on the list, studying in the car can definitely work to your advantage.
This is most beneficial to people with noisy roommates, and for those moments when the library is packed, classrooms are full, traffic is dense, and it’s too rainy to study outdoors. Find a quiet spot, drop the seats back, and get to work. Eventually, you might come to find you enjoy studying in the car far more than anywhere else.
Another way to study in the car is to play audio-books or recordings from class while driving. For many people, especially those who learn best through hearing, this helps them to retain the information better because it sounds more conversational than mere reading.
If you’re an English major, or covering any literature classes during the semester, this opportunity is even more beneficial for you. Don’t miss out on it.
People learn in different ways and in different environments. Some require perfect silence and zero distractions, while others need the hustle and bustle of regular life around them in order to stay alert. Experiment until you figure out what environment works best for you.
Have you ever tried studying in any of these places, or have even better options we didn’t include on the list? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!