Many students in college spend a large portion of their time on campus attending classes, getting work done and studying in the libraries. However, there are plenty of times when it may be necessary or just more convenient to study from home, be that a dorm room or an apartment.
Creating the right atmosphere is essential for any student hoping to stay on task when studying at home. For many students, listening to music is a key factor in the fight to stay focused, such as forensic and investigative sciences sophomore Michaela Reiss.
“I listen to a lot of jazz music when I study cause there’s no lyrics,” Reiss said. “It’s just nice background noise. Some background noise is necessary for me; I can’t work in silence.”
There are more factors to creating the right study environment at home than just music choice; for instance, Reiss finds that having a snack on hand helps her stay on task.
“Every week I get myself one of those big party-sized bags of peanut M&Ms,” Reiss said. “I’ll usually have that sitting on my desk. When I’m tired of studying, I’ll just snack for a little bit and then go back to studying.”
In addition to creating a work environment that fosters productivity, there are specific tactics any student can utilize to make sure that they stay on task. University studies sophomore Hannah Hart has one method in particular that keeps her focused.
“It helps me to concentrate if I set a timer to do something,” Hart said. “I set a timer and do one subject for a bit, then take a break, and then I do another subject for a little bit. That helps me stay on task.”
Minimizing all distractions is essential to getting the most out of study time at home. Unfortunately, it is much easier said than done, especially when one of the main forms of distraction is a necessity. Reiss said it is easy to get off task by looking at her phone.
“If I get a notification, I’m like ‘Oh, I can stop and look at this,’” Reiss said. “Then it turns into half an hour of perusing social media.”
Hart agrees that it does not take much to get sucked into social media.
“I think it’s just mindless,” Hart said. “You’re tired of thinking, so you just scroll through Facebook or Instagram. It feels like you’re giving your mind a break, even though it’s not really productive in any way.”
Despite the possibility for distractions, there are many advantages to studying at home. Environmental geoscience junior Anna Osborne said it is convenient to have what you need right at hand.
“You have all of your books there; you don’t have to lug them two miles across campus,” Osborne said. “You don’t have to fight for a plug to charge your computer.”
Sometimes, it’s also just nice to be at home and not have to make a trip back to the dorm or apartment after a late-night study session.
“It’s quiet, it’s comfort,” Hart said. “After I’m finished [studying], I can immediately relax because I’m home. If you have a big exam coming up and you’re one of those people who likes to study really hard the night before, [studying at home is] good for that.”