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Friday, October 8, 2010

How to organize your study area

The study area for a college student should be the least decorated room/area the student is ever exposed to. Too much distraction can prove fatal, especially during finals week. The important thing to keep in mind is the world simple. If there must be decoration, keep it to a minimum. Do not hang colorful or bright posters near the area. If there is a window in the vicinity, hang curtains of one color over them so the window will not distract the person studying.
Keep the area clean. A messy area is very distracting. Having papers and books littered all over the place will only remind a student of how much work he or she has to do, and that can be very stressful. Also, the more obsessive-compulsive students will only think about how much they will want to clean instead of study.
Use comfortable furniture. Sitting in a hard-backed chair does nothing for a person trying to concentrate. On the other hand, having a squishy couch runs the risk of a student falling asleep while reading a book. It is good to find a happy medium between hard and soft.
Do not have a TV or radio in the vicinity. Many students like to turn on these devices and say it helps them study, but in reality, it is a severe distraction, and can make a student completely forget what subject he or she is working on. It is very easy to be distracted by moving pictures on a screen or the beats of a song. When in doubt, leave it turned off or move it out of the room/area.
Laptops are a tricky subject. On the one hand, having them in the area is handy when something needs to be researched, but with Facebook and MySpace bookmarked next to Google, it is easy to just "check" an account and subsequently forget about studying. If studying does not require a computer, it is best to keep the computer turned off and put away.
It is good to have a file cabinet or a desk with several drawers. The messy papers mentioned earlier can be filed by subject into different notebooks and stored away for future use. This clears the clutter and keeps things organized.
Pen holders are often forgotten about but are very useful. Some pen holders nowadays even contain sticky notes, perfect for when a student wishes to write a little note without searching for a whole piece of paper.
Having a desk lamp is also very helpful. If a student has to share his or her study area with another student, having a lamp will be useful when the other student wishes to sleep and the first student needs to study or do homework. Instead of having an overhead light on, a desk lamp can illuminate just enough for the studying student to work. Also note, however, studying like this can be bad for the eyes.
In short, the study area should be a sanctuary of quiet and peace. Though that may be difficult in dorm room life, it is a necessity for success in college.

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