Where do you usually study?

At libraries? At home? With a friend? In your room? For me – I study best at a cafe.

I couldn’t stand the atmosphere of library. When I step into one, I could immediately smell stress. I hate seeing other people studying when I’m studying. Instead of motivating me to study more and enabling me to know that there are many people in the same boat as me, I’m freaked out, thinking how much further have they rowed their boats since we started studying. Simply said, I hate studying in a place that is dedicated for studying.

If you think that’s weird, well, join the club. I also wonder why I couldn’t study in the places dedicated for studying. Do you know how much hassle this created? First of all, my Mom would scold and ask me what I’ve been doing in a cafe instead of studying. Well, Mom, I’m studying. But she wouldn’t believe me. Well, how could she? A cafe is noisy, full of people talking and walking passed and blah. A big NO for ideal study location.

Second of all, I couldn’t even study at home. Too much distraction. There are TV, sofa, kitchen, blanket, bed, pillows, internet, laptop, house chores (yes, house chores, you read that right) and other billion things. How can you not study at home? It’s the most beautiful place on earth! Well, I associate home = place to relax. It’s not a place to study, so…

Third of all, do you realise how much should I spend to be able to study effectively? Coffee + time going to a cafe + transport + time going back home = $$$. Imagine if I want to do this effective studying every weekday. I’ll go bankrupt.

So what is it about cafe that attract me so much? Is it the coffee? Not necessarily.

It’s the atmosphere.

my cafe kit. plus iPad and tons of assignment papers.

Yes, it’s noisy, and yes, people are walking. But you see, a cafe is my haven. When you are stressed and having a writer’s (or student’s) block, you can just take 2 minutes break and see how people are doing. You can see life. That makes me refreshed and enables me to go back to my assignments or study. Plus, there’s no internet distraction. I would not crave to my Facebook, Twitter, emails, or even blog stats in every 10 minutes. I would just simply study, write, or do my assignment.

In a cafe, I would finish a day’s worth of work (e.g. compared to when I’m doing it at home) in two hours. No joking.

Last week I needed to do a research assignment for my psychology subject. As I had to use the computer’s program that’s only available at uni, sulkily I went to the library and tried to do my assignment. I saw my friend who’s doing the same course. I sat beside him.

I was super stressed for the next three hours.

First, I saw too many stressed people there. Second, I saw my friend stressing, and he was already on stage 9, while I was still in stage 0.5.

I am the type that couldn’t work under pressure (future employers, I hope you are not reading this), but yes, the more I’m pressured, the more I call it quit. That’s why when at home, I’m doing my assignments while watching the TV. That way I get more work done compared to not watching TV (watching TV gives me the sense of ‘entertainment’ that I used to seek while studying at a cafe).

How do you study? Do you study at home, at library, or someplace else? What method do you use to study effectively? Share your stories in the comments below.

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9 thoughts on “Where do you usually study?

  1. There is no way I could study or write in a cafe simply because I am one of those people who no matter where I am people come up to me and start telling me their life story. So I’m afraid it is in the study which the rest of the family think is a railway station but at least I can give them the frozen eyeball look.

  2. It depends. For one, it usually has to be a place where I’m allowed to eat/drink, because I must nom when I study.

    Next, it needs to be reasonably quiet (not necessarily completely silent, but free from sudden changes/distractions, e.g. people screaming or loud music) because I have the attention span of a goldfish. I could study in cafes, if I had my ipod.

    Thirdly, I must be able to see some form of natural light or some aspect of the outside world because I’m quite claustrophobic (which also explains why closed/crowded libraries don’t appeal, and why I’m usually found sitting by windows).

    I actually like studying in different places, because I get bored if I stay in the same place all the time. The big challenge is actually getting myself into a conducive mode for studying, because once I gain that optimal balance of momentum/motivation, I can keep going.

    Axiom of the above ramble – I must have caffeine, sugar, and sunlight. Beyond that everything straightens itself out :D

  3. Shing says:

    I am just like you in many ways! Library definitely is not my place to study, too quiet!!! Never studied in the library and even if I have to(rarely), it will never last for more than 1hr. I like to study where there’s people and sound around, like you said some life and occasionally have snacks around. Similarly at home, the TV will have to be switched on, otherwise I am less productive. :D

  4. Nicky says:

    I study better when I listen to music. It doesn’t matter where, if there is music, I study. What I cannot tolerate is when there is someone else around that’s studiyng with me. Like you said, it makes me nervous. As a matter of fact, I think that it also makes the one next to me nervous, as I tend to make noise when I study. (I sing or whistle, and read out loud all that I want to learn)

  5. Hi septembertwelfth :)). Wow, caffeine, sugar, and sunlight. Love the combination lol. I love sunlight as well, which is one of the reason I love studying in a cafe because they usually have windows and usually always open their front doors (except during winter….).

  6. Hi-five, Shing! lol. I can never last long in a library. too stressed. wayyyy tooo much stressssss… Finally, another one like me! my sis used to scold me because I study in a different way… lol. it seems like im not studying, but i actually am…

  7. Hi Nicky, I used to study while listening to music, but this past year I have decided that it distracts me more. I start to sing along when I listen to music, and switch my concentration to the lyrics instead of what I’m studying lol. I used to make noise when I study as well. lol. Somehow my way of studying changes… hmmmm….

  8. Giffi says:

    Why not being creative for once and do it for the sake of psychology research?Lolx. Think outside the box. Airport for instance. Most Singaporeans tend to study mostly in airport or even Starbucks. I don’t know why. But one thing I know if you are way too familiar with the environment around you, you will not be alert and mostly would end up dozing off! Studying in a random place with a study group may help you learn in the process b’cos it’ll give you an incentive to look forward to.

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