US News has a list of ways not to study. These are things that I wish I had thought of when I was in college. I didn’t do nearly as much studying as I should have. This one in particular stood out:

Many students think if only they found the perfect place to study, studying would be easy. So they spend inordinate amounts of time scouting and trying out various locales—first their dorm room, then the coffee shop, then the library, then the grass, etc. Such elaborate “setup” time can be a major time waster, and even worse, can make you feel that you can’t study unless you are in your ideal study spot. Better idea? Find a reasonably quiet place and just get started. You’ll get more comfortable as you get going.

In the Southern Tech University Library, they had these little study closets. For $50 a semester, you could rent one out. It was a closet-sized chamber in the library tower where you had a desk, peace and quiet, and not much else.

I have attention span issues and it was always pretty difficult to get me to stay on-task when there were always so many other things I can do. Some semesters in the dorm I had a non-computer desk specifically for reading and studying. But with my roommate Hubert around and frequently entertaining, it was a bit of a challenge to stay focused. When Saresh and Dennis joined us in our four-person setup, it became even harder. Then again, we did have a separate room that was generally quiet, so I can’t use that as too much of an excuse.

In retrospect, I wish I had rented out a library closet. Keeping me away from instant messenger, the TV shows that Hubert and Dennis would watch, and so on could have been invaluable. And unlike the Quiet Room in our four-person digs, I couldn’t easily switch back and forth whenever I “needed a break”. I wasn’t a bad studier when I had little else to do but study, but the world is full of distractions.

Of course, the problem with the library closets now is that as far as I know there is no Internet support and more and more studying requires having the Internet around or at least a computer. I guess these days the latter is not a problem because laptops have become so ubiquitous, but unless Sotech has implemented and stepped up WiFi support, that limits the closet utility (assuming that the closets are still there).

Though I am no longer in school and no longer need to study, I still find that I have difficulty getting work done in my play area. I wrote my most recent novel mostly at a coffeehouse and on our kitchen table. I’m not even sure I could do the latter now that we have wireless networking. On the other hand, wireless networking has lead to me doing most of my computing on a laptop on a sofa. At this point, perhaps my computer console is dry enough that I could use it for writing. What would be perfect is a closet that I could rent somewhere. It would have to be cheaper than the coffeehouse.


Category: School

About the Author


2 Responses to Studyland

  1. Peter says:

    Perhaps it’s an urban legend, but the story goes that a 19th-Century writer (I think it was Anatole France, but I’m not 100% certain) came upon a unique method of remaining focused in his work. He rented a room in town and outfitted it solely with a desk and writing materials. He would go to the room with a servant, remove all his clothing, and give the clothing to the servant. The servant was under orders to return some hours’ hence with the clothing. Needless to say, until the servant returned the writer had no choice whatsoever except to write.

  2. kirk says:

    The servant was under orders to return some hours’ hence with the clothing. Needless to say, until the servant returned the writer had no choice whatsoever except to write.

    Well, he could have…nevermind.

    😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

If you are interested in subscribing to new post notifications,
please enter your email address on this page.