Remember the good ole days? The days of going to a coffee shop with a friend, opening your laptop and talking for two hours instead of studying? Procrastination never felt so good …and so expensive! My oat milk dirty chai is like seven dollars — what the hell?
If you didn’t know by now, those days are gone. You can’t just say “I’m going to the library” to feel good about yourself anymore. You’re going to actually have to study. In pretty limited spaces too.
If you’re like me and get distracted by anything, skimming textbooks at home isn’t the most appealing. But now that both lectures and homework will be hosted in your twin XL, it’s time to start investing in some new study spaces.
First, let’s start inside the home. If you’re in a residence hall, some of this may not apply to you, as you have the luxury of sharing a common area with everyone on your floor/dorm. Don’t knock it, though — that’s how I made all of my ~friendly acquaintances~ freshman year.
Whether you’re in a sorority house or Hub suite, you’re bound to have a common space. Your roommates may resort to the couch but choose to be a bit unique.
I’m currently writing this article in my kitchen, and boy are my creative juices flowing! A simple change of scenery can really get you out of a slump.
Another handy tip is to change your physical positions. You can stand and work to feel like one of those people who have treadmills in their cubicles.
The floor is also a fabulous option. Sure it requires some extra posture work, but staying grounded is always important.
In terms of scenery in your apartment or house, change it up! This may be a weekly challenge, but it’s something that is incredibly important to keep you alert.
I recommend stealing university property so that your interior reflects a university building. Shuffle it from room to room every once in a while, and you’re golden!
One thing that has always helped me focus is being in a place with very few people around. This is generally a good rule to follow in a pandemic as well.
But, this one can be a toughy. The University of Wisconsin is a 40,000 person campus, so there’s bound to be a dirty, indie kid with a cold Colectivo americano already camping out in your spot.
Start brainstorming ~different~ study spots now and your individuality complex will thank you later. If you want to be unique AND lazy, here are my top picks. Don’t tell your friends.
Regent Street McDonald’s parking lot
This one is fun and classic! Grab your dollar coke and park it out front, buddy! People don’t often think of this area of Madison for academia, but Regent is sure cute and cozy.
Sure, the cute and quaint Indie Coffee is right across the street from Micky-D’s, but just think of the ambiance the parking lot provides. The traffic as white noise, the grease in the air — nothing has motivated me to study more.
Who would have thought that us humans could use the great outdoors to our advantage. That’s right — for FREE you can go and sit on the grass and study! Miss Gaia won’t even make you buy a drink. (Unless you’re bolder than I am, you will have to plan around your pee schedule.)
Of course, you will have to fight the inability to read or see with the constant wind and/or sun in your business. But maybe you’ll get lucky and find a nice spot under a tree. Soak it in while it lasts — word is there’s a polar vortex scheduled for late September.
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That one single-stall bathroom in MemU if you go down the hall towards the theater, but, like, before you turn the corner, it’s just on the left — you’ll know it when you see it
I know, I know ew! Besides the fact that you’ll be thinking about inhaling fecal matter during the entire study sesh, this option is actually a very private one. The unions will technically be open during the school year and who’s gonna stop you from taking a tinkle?
Little do they know, you’ll be completing a midterm on the toilet. Obviously keep your pants on if you want. Seriously though, so few people probably think to use this bathroom, it’s your safest choice. It’s also close to food if you need it!
Besides versatile study spaces, you also have to think about the rate at which you study. With everything behind a screen, you might feel the need to constantly switch from school to work to Instagram to Twitter to work to TikTok to school.
Take breaks — actual, real, not-social-media breaks. Bake a pan of spinach artichoke dip and eat it in one sitting. Watch all of Orville Peck’s music videos and text me about how much you love them. Try on the most extra thing in your closet, throw it on the ground and neglect it for two weeks.
It’s the simple things that are going to get us through. Go out of your comfort zone this week — your GPA will thank me later. Just kidding, that’s very personal and none of these tips are proven to help with anything.