Beyond University social activities, students spend a lot of their time working towards their degree; whether revising, writing essays or completing coursework. This means it’s important to have a place to work in that’s comfortable and effective. Here’s our handy guide to creating your own study space.
Deciding on a study space
The first step is to commit to setting aside an area that’s only used for studying. This is hard in a small, hall of residence-style room but it’s still possible. Avoid working across several areas (on your bed, armchair etc.) – you’ll get more done if you have a dedicated space to concentrate.
You don’t need to spend a small fortune preparing your study space – that said, it’s useful to put some thought into the way things are arranged. If you can find one, a second hand office chair with arms and adjustable back is a good investment and will help to support your back more effectively. If you use a laptop, consider buying an external keyboard and mouse, then perch the laptop on a pile of books so your eye line is level with the top of the screen. This will stop you from hunching over while you study.
Keep it tidy
It’s likely that your study space is going to prove a tight fit so it’s important to keep everything in order and in its place. It’s hard to concentrate – or even find anything – when your things aren’t organised so consider buying a little desk tidy for your stationery and a stack of desk trays to keep paperwork organised and off the actual desktop; a corkboard on the wall is a good idea as well. The overall aim? Keep your desk clear as possible.
Buy a pot plant
If you’re working in a confined area you’re putting out a lot of carbon dioxide into the room and that’s no good for your concentration levels. Buy a broad-leafed pot plant to reduce CO2 levels and increase the amount of study-enhancing O2 in your study space.
If all else fails, try the library
Finally, if your living situation makes it impossible to create your own study space, make use of the university library. It won’t be as convenient but will give you somewhere to go that’s free from distractions and where you can focus on work and work only. Most university libraries have generous opening hours too (during exam periods some are available 24 hours a day) so it’s possible to study at a time that suits you.