Although I don't want to admit it, it's almost the start of midterm season. I've already had my first quiz, and can already start scratching some major assignments off of my calendar. I know that every college is on a different schedule, but whether you're in the middle of your exams, heading into them within the next few weeks, or are not even close to thinking about exams, I want this post to be here for you when you're ready to buckle down and study.
Now I have to admit, I wasn't always a fan of studying in the library. It wasn't until last semester when I had my junior thesis class that I realized I was going to have to get familiar with the place I had only walked through to save me time while walking through campus. (Seriously I probably could count on one hand the number of times I had been in the library for over 10 minutes before then) But after spending numerous study halls and group power study sessions with my thesis friends, I grew to kind of enjoy studying in the library. I still don't do it as often as I probably should, but I try to make an effort to study there at least once every two weeks, which is something that I definitely couldn't say before.
After staying in the library for many, many hours last semester, I kind of got into a routine of how to be productive. Of course everyone has their own way of studying that works for them, but I thought I would share a few tips and all the essentials I keep with me just in case someone is looking for a new study routine!
Tip #1 Book A Study Room
I can't study in silence. It drives me insane when there isn't at least a little background noise going on. I always like to book a study room so that I can invite some friends in to study with me, can talk to myself a little, ask some questions, or grab something from my backpack without feeling the judgement and angry stares of the other 25 people in the room. Even if you study alone, having a study room is nice because you can get up and take a stretch, eat a snack, or play music out loud if that's your thing.
Tip #2 Listen To Music Without Lyrics
I don't know about you, but I can't help but sing along if I know a song when it comes on. This is my downfall when studying, since I love listening to music at the same time. I've found that instrumentals are great for giving me the necessary noise that I need, but don't distract me from my work. I love the Disney Instrumental and the Pop Hits Instrumental stations on Pandora!
Tip #3 Take Breaks Ever 30 Minutes
I've found that it helps me to break up my studying into 30 minute intervals. It doesn't matter how long my breaks are, just as long as I get my mind to wander a bit. I never take longer than a 10 minute break though, because then you won't be as committed to your assignment. Usually I take a lap around the room (whether it be the study room or the library room I'm in), browse social media for a few minutes, or head to the bathroom. This helps you to stay alert, get your blood flowing, and keep you from being too bogged down by work.
Earphones/Headphones for when you don't have a study room to listen to your tunes out loud.
A snack to keep your energy up and to keep you from starving! It's always best to keep something in your bag, since sometimes you're at the library longer than you thought you would be. If you don't opt for the study room, I recommend something without loud packaging.
A beverage, I recommend some form of caffeine or water to keep you hydrated and happy. Ever since Starbucks moved onto Chapman's campus I've been a well-caffeinated gal that doesn't mind a cold library room if I have my nice hot white mocha. :)
Fuzzy socks that will keep your toes warm and will make you feel more cozy. Heck, why not bring a blanket as well and make yourself comfortable.
Similar to the socks, dress in comfortable clothes. Yes, looking cute is great, but when you'll be sitting in the same spot for 4 hours, just put on those leggings and that spirit jersey and get that work done. Sometimes you just have to let the extremely comfortable side of your closet take over.
Always bring your phone/computer charger if you know you'll be in the library for the long haul! I always know that I'll be using up my computer battery within a few hours, so having it with me is a necessity.
Optional, but I like to have a study buddy to chit chat with on my breaks, or discuss homework if we're in the same class. I think it's nice to have someone else in the room with you so you don't go a little insane being alone for a few hours!
What are your library study essentials?