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Many students have a lot of trouble trying to concentrate when they study. But what many students don't understand is that it could be the environment in which they are trying to learn that's affecting their ability to assimilate information.
If you’re finding it hard to learn and you’re asked the question: ‘where do you study?’ and your answer is ‘on my bed with my books while I’m eating popcorn,’ you might want to consider changing your working environment.
With the right equipment and planning, you should be able to create your perfect study space, which will lead to postgraduate success.
The first thing you’ll need is a suitable space that is relaxing for you, but not up to the point where you feel like sleeping! When you’re trying to find a table, get one with a top that’s positioned between your waist and ribs so that when you sit, you can rest your elbows on it. For the chair, you’d best get one that conforms with the height of your table. Try to avoid chairs that rotate or have any form of distractions.
Lighting also has an effect on your attentiveness. Somewhere that’s too dark will not only make it easier for you to sleep but it can damage your eyes. If working at home, you can purchase a table lamp that can be fixed on your book or surroundings to brighten up the environment. If natural light is available, make the most of it. However, take note not to look out the window to see things that would be distracting to you.
Ensure that you have all the materials you’ll need for studying like pens, pencils, erasers, paper, highlighters, calculators etc ready and set them out on your desk for use. If the paper you’re studying is mathematical, ensure you use a calculator instead of your phone to avoid distractions.
A phone is the biggest distraction to a student who’s trying to study. Having your phone near you when you’re working can entice you to sign in to social media and chat for a short while, especially if you’re not enjoying your work. To avoid this, you can shut down your smartphone or put in silent mode before chucking it well away from where you’re sitting.
You also need to avoid eating unhealthy food while studying because various foods have different effects on your body. Junk food can make you full and subsequently sleepy, some types of foods can make you feel like rushing to the toilet every 20 minutes, and this negatively affects reading. The best way to balance your studying and food is to have your food ready while deciding on the periods you want to have lunch breaks.
Your study space should be treated as a ‘sacred place of learning.’ If it’s been used for anything else, you are more likely to easily get distracted while reading.
If you just can’t seem to find anywhere suitable or comfortable at home that can be used for your study, you can consider changing your location. There are several places in your uni campus that can be used. The library is an obvious one as it has the added benefit of access to books and resources on a variety of topics.
You can also find a spot in an empty lecture hall for your reading. The lecture seating arrangement in lecture halls makes it comfortable for you to read and retain what you’ve learned in your study session. Apart from that, a lecture hall is the first place students learn any new topic in the syllabus, which means that your mind associates lecture halls with learning. This, in turn, puts you in full studying mode while reading in the lecture hall.
Finding a quiet spot on campus for your reading shouldn’t be too hard either. There are places on campus many students do not stroll past because they are considered ‘no fun’ areas, but these places can be turned into the perfect study space for you to work without distractions.
Creating your study space is easier and more fun than you think. Dedicating a few hours to getting the equipment you need and choosing the perfect study spot usually means graduating with good academic grades and landing your dream job.
Why don’t you start working on your study space today?
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