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Friday, August 24, 2012
The List | Top 5 Places to Study

Where do you find inspiration?  Is it at a favorite restaurant or a museum?  Maybe your study sessions come alive in the simplest of places—your own home.  Whether exotic or ordinary, we all have our favorite place to study. 

As online students, we can all agree that much of our learning is achieved through study.  While you are   trying to make the grade, it is only fitting that we go over a few places to study that give you the best study experience.  But, regardless of how good the study destination, there are always a few things that get in the way.

The Library/Bookstore:

  • Good: WIFI is available and who doesn’t like having access to a book if you need some supplemental reading or an entertaining study break in the magazine section.  Bookstores/Libraries differ in noise level, of course, so choose wisely.
  • Bad: If it’s a library, many times their internet access is limited, making it difficult to do research or check email, etc…even though the noise level is just right.  If it’s a bookstore, noise level is sporadic at best.  You could be next to a quiet book club or you could be next to a heated PTO meeting.   In addition, the best spots are often taken unless you get there when they open.  By best spots, I mean the spots next to outlets to charge your laptop or the quiet corners.

Coffee Shop:

  • Good: WIFI is available most of the time and the aroma of coffee almost keeps you awake by itself.  But, just to make sure, you can get some coffee as a backup plan. The study spaces are intimate and the tables offer you just enough space for your books.  
  • Bad: While coffee shops are small, which is part of their charm, there is never room for the crowd they can draw.  A healthy online student with no previous medical conditions can suddenly become claustrophobic in this setting.  Also, if you’re jumpy about the espresso machines before you get your coffee, imagine how you’ll be after.  Along with the espresso machines firing-off without warning, the coffee grinders can make it hard to focus or hear your music/lecture while you’re studying.

At Home:

  • Good: The home is familiar territory. You know where everything is except writing utensils. (Why is that so true?) Also, you can dress as comfortably as you want.  You don’t have to worry about being presentable and the icing on the cake is the password protected WIFI which is most likely not available at a coffee shop, library, or bookstore.
  • Bad: At any moment the ground could shake and the family bursts through the door needing you for something, just as you were starting to understand how photosynthesis really works.  Also, you’re wondering why the music is so loud next door.  It turns out the neighborhood kids are having band practice one house over.  This can be especially distracting in an apartment complex.  At that point you’re not exactly routing for that band to make it in the music industry.

At Work (Off the Clock):

  • Good: You know your workspace better than even your own home.  It’s a small place where it’s easy to operate and there are few out there who have not mastered their workspace. Also, unlike the home, you have writing utensils readily available.  The internet is secure, even more secure than your home and it’s usually quiet after hours. 
  • Bad: After most have gone home for the night that one co-worker who never talks to you otherwise during the business day, stops by your desk to “catch up.”  At that point, you can kiss that study session goodbye.   Maybe that doesn’t happen and your study session goes well, you feel like you just worked a double shift since you have been at your desk literally all day.  This can have diverse psychological effects including something I like to call, “office-lag.”

In the car:

  • Good: In your car, you feel good because you’re getting from point A to point B and using the time wisely.  Of course, there is minimal internet access with your smart phone so note books or flash cards are the best way to go.  The open road is great for memorizing or repeating concepts and vocabulary out loud.  You can also bring your iTunes lectures and listen in the car to absorb the material.  Side note: Nothing makes you look more culturally relevant than rolling the windows down, and pumping up that lecture at a stoplight.  I dare you!
  • Bad: On the downside, studying intently in the car increases the chance of a wrong turn and ultimately getting lost.  Trying to find your reference point on your flash cards or note book can be hazardous to your safety.  Also, there is that slight chance you could be trying to memorize something while the LIGHT IS GREEN! (Personal pet peeve)  

This was just a brief look at a few places you might be preparing for quizzes, exams, and anything else that comes your way during your degree.  Are they perfect?  No.  But, as an online student you’re not looking for perfect, you’re just trying to find what works for you.  Enjoy this post, have a few laughs, but more importantly find a place where you can maximize your study time. 

The truth is, you make the study session, not the location, but we all know it helps. 

Join us for The List every 2nd Wednesday of the month!
 


 
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