Determining or creating a study space can be tough for students at first. Some may discover that they are unable to study successfully in their room due to distractions. That's OK. There are plenty of spaces on campus that work as a quiet escape. Some students may be able to study in their room, despite noise from their roommate and hallmates. Either way, finding a proper study space is one of the keys to academic success.

Be proactive. Instead of waiting until after end-of-semester grades arrive, talk with your student now to make sure he has set up a study routine. This includes determining a study space where he can be successful writing papers and preparing for exams.

Tips to try

Here are some study space tips from the experts that you can share with your student:

  • Take the time to determine what you need to maintain your focus, so you can plan out the perfect space. What level of noise do you prefer? What temperature do you like? How do you like to sit or lay? Does the type of school work you are doing change your needs at all?
  • Turn off your mobile phone and TV. In today's day and age, this is tough, especially for those who grew up multi-tasking. But, all of these things pull your attention away from the task at hand. If you need some noise, try some background music instead. An instrumental selection is best, but use whatever works for you.
  • Check the lighting. Make sure it is not too dim, especially if your study space is in a residence hall room. If the overhead lighting isn't cutting it, a desk lamp may be the answer.
  • Select an area that has enough room to spread out everything you need. You'll want to be able to easily view as many resources as possible, especially if you are checking sources for a paper or referencing multiple sources for an exam.
  • Take an inventory of regularly used items before sitting down to write a major paper or study for a final. Stock up on pens, pencils, printer paper, ink cartridges, and anything else you'll need. If you are traveling to your study space, make sure you have everything before you leave so you don't have to go back for forgotten items.
  • Decorate your space or bring some inspiration with you. If you enjoy your space, you'll be more likely to want to be in it.
  • Create an organizational system that works for you. You might think that keeping one messy pile of handouts and notes from all your classes is helpful, but the experts say it isn't. Label folders or binders and regularly organize your resources. Make sure you have clearly defined spaces for all of your supplies, too.
  • If you really want to be healthy, ensure that your study space is ergonomically correct. Your work space should be about waist-height. You should be able to rest your elbows on the table without hunching your shoulders and put your feet flat on the floor. You can adjust your set height to make this happen.
  • Get comfy, but not too comfy. You don't want to fall asleep while you are studying. It's best to sit upright at a desk. But, if you want to lie on the floor or on a bed, just make sure you'll stay focused enough to get the job done.

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