Your days studying are going to be some of the best of your life. You will make new friends, discover new hobbies and create memories that will last a lifetime, but believe it or not, that’s not all university is about. Mostly it’s about studying and getting yourself that top-quality job you always dreamed about. To do that successfully you are going to need to spend a lot of time reading books, completing assignments and studying your notes. To help, we have created a guide to help you in setting up the perfect personal study space.
You may not know it yet, but choosing a place to study is going to be very important. Many students choose to lie on the bed or collapse on the couch, which while comfy may create a few difficulties. Firstly, because these are your relaxation spaces you may find it harder to focus, or worse, when it comes time to relax, may find it hard to use these places to switch off. That’s why it is highly recommended you find and dedicate one area in your apartment to be used exclusively for study purposes.
Depending on which of our apartment types you have chosen from – bachelor, one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom or the nearby apartment block Howzit Hilda – you will have different options when it comes to staking out your study space. Ideally though, what that space will need is: good ventilation and lighting, enough space and no distractions. Preferably get a desk that is in a room where a door can shut you off from any other people, and that faces a wall so you won’t catch yourself staring dreamily out of the window instead of studying and making your life a success. The worst thing you can do is face the desk inwards towards the TV or the dishes building up in the sink as these will simply become an excuse to not study.
The good news is that if you are still struggling to make your apartment the perfect study space, The Fields has a Study Centre, designed to be a great place to study away from your apartment. We offer uncapped Wi-Fi and a communal generator to keep things up and running during electricity outages.
Effective studying requires no distractions and that includes noise. If you live by yourself this can be easy, but faced with roommates it may be a little more tricky. If you have a door, think about stuffing a towel along the bottom to block out any sounds of TV or partying from outside and consider investing in a set of noise-cancelling headphones to ensure you stay in the zone.
Never underestimate the value of a good chair. This sounds like the kind of advice your grandparents might give, and with good reason. By now your umkhulu or ugogo know the value of their spine and a good chair will protect that. It will also keep your posture strong, while giving you added levels of comfort, all things that allow you to focus for longer and get up from studying feeling fresher.
If your seat gives you a sore back and legs there is a good chance you will subconsciously start avoiding it. Making sure you don’t get aches and pains is also why it’s important you stand up and walk around every 45 minutes or so. It will clear your vision, stretch your legs, and get your brain fresh for the next burst of activity.
Communicate your study times and style clearly with those around you. It’s important that those around you know when they can expect you to be studying and how you like to study. If you know you study better with occasional TV breaks, tell your flatmate so they don’t think the second you emerge it’s time to offer you a glass of wine. Likewise, if you study late at night and your flatmate in the morning, then you both know when it’s time to be the courteous flatmate and pay them back for all the times they were quiet for you.
It is vitally important that your desk and study area remain tidy. It’s impossible to focus on the work at hand if the room and desk are covered in clutter. Messiness is just as distracting as your phone, which should ideally be charging, on silent, at the other end of the room.
Ideally, this rule should apply to your entire room – it’s amazing how many people will pick vacuuming over study if they notice the room is messy. If you don’t have storage you are going to want to get some. Everything should have a home in shelves, cupboards and trunks if you want to be able to focus 100%. There should be absolutely no excuse to be trying to study in three day old, smelly pyjamas 😊 either as The Fields has an on-site laundromat with easy to use and affordable washers and dryers.
Whether you are a morning person or a night owl light is going to be invaluable to your studies. If you like to study in the morning it may not be a good idea to set up your desk facing a window directly into the rising sun, and likewise you don’t want to be struggling to read by the light of a single low watt bulb in the evening.
A German study, published in 2015, looked at the effects of colour temperature and brightness on the productivity of students at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, and revealed that the students were more creative under warm light (3000k), yet concentrated better under cold light (6000k). To find out what works for you, try setting up a lamp with a dimmer and playing around with the various lighting options in your room. There is no doubt, you will eventually hit on a combination that works best for you.
One last thing, if you find yourself squinting at blurry words, it may not mean you need to visit an optometrist, just buy a desk lamp.
In the end, studying successfully will take a space that you can feel at home in. At The Fields we know what it’s like to be far from the places you know and so have added in all the little touches that we think will make you comfortable and help you settle in to study. As always, feel free to chat to us if you have any questions. We are happy to help.
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