Moving from school to university brings lots of changes, one of them being the choice of where to study when not in lecture. With more independent study and no teachers forcing you to stay in the classroom, it can be hard to find your perfect study environment.
Most students stick to the library as this is where the majority of study materials and other students are. While the library can be useful for an academic atmosphere, other students may work better hidden away in their rooms.
If the idea of isolating yourself fills you with dread, perhaps working in the university cafe would suit you better, or embracing the great outdoors could be key to your academic success.
Every student is different and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to which is the best study environment. Take our quiz to find out which location could be right for you.
1) Do you get easily distracted with background noise?
2) Do you like to study with other people?
3) Do you find it hard to motivate yourself?
4) Does your course require specific library materials or lab work?
Quiz: where on campus should I study?
You're a true academic and thrive when surrounded by other hard-working students. With minimal distractions and all the learning materials you need on hand, the library allows you to fulfill your academic potential. You can really get your head down rather than being distracted by your friends gossiping about last nights antics or making unnecessary noise thanks to quite study rules. It may feel isolating or boring to be couped up in the library at first, but once you realise how productive you're being you are bound to have plenty of motivation to continue.
You work best when you are left to your own devices. No friends to chat to, no coursemates to rely on, your study style is 'me, myself and I'. You don't lack self-motivation and you can be easily destracted when surrounded by other students. Studying in your room means you can devote all your attention to your work rather than arranging lunch plans with friends. 'Cabin fever' is an unknown symptom for you, and as comfy as your bed may be, try to make sure you go outside for excercise or socialising at least once a day to look after your mental wellbeing.
The campus cafe
You break the mold of the traditional student and work best in bustling environments. Silent study areas give you seriously itchy feet and make you crave background noise. Other people may tell you working in social spaces like the cafe is not as productive as the library, but you know as an extrovert being around other people is what makes you tick. You'll likely find working around other people will energise you and allow you to blast through that essay you've been putting off. It may be tricky to stay on task when there is so much going on around you so you may need to work on your concentration, but once you've mastered this you'll have gained a life-long skill to focus regardless of your environment - not to mention the yummy food and drinks you can order as a reward for all your hardwork!
You work best when your mind is free to roam beyond the confines of the library or your bedroom. Fresh air and an interesting view helps you to think outside the box and concentrate on your work. Being in the library makes you feel trapped and limits your thinking, while studying in your room can feel isolating. Studying outside allows you to find a peaceful corner or a bustling park depending on your mood, and be energised by nature while you learn. This learning style is obviously dependant on weather and seasons, but as long as you come prepared for the elements it could be your key to unlocking academic success.