a collage of study locations on WSU campus

WSU has a variety of locations for all your studying needs!

I hate to bring it up guys, but the end of the semester is quickly approaching. For some of us (myself included) this means graduation is just on the horizon, and for others it means that you’re on the cusp of surviving another semester. Either way, go you!

Unfortunately, whether you’re a freshman or final-semester senior we all have to jump that notorious final hurdle before we’re home free to frolic in the summer air.

You guessed it–finals.

As exams are next week, now is the perfect time to perfect your study techniques. Speaking from experience, it’s endlessly helpful to know in advance what works best for you. And by techniques I’m not just talking about flash cards vs. mnemonic devices. It’s a great idea to figure out where you study the best and what environment works best for your studying style.

When everyone is buckling down this week you don’t want to scramble for a quiet nook only to discover that the scratch of pencils on paper or clack of keyboards echoing in the silence is actually more distracting than your roommate’s dog’s barking. It’s hard to know what works best for you unless you actually try a few options.

Luckily for us, WSU offers a lot of possible locations. Here are a few suggestions for those of you that are figuring out your favorites for the first time, or for people just looking for some alternate ideas.

Option 1: Your Room

Okay this one doesn’t seem all that creative, but sometimes the familiarity and comfort inherent in your own space lends itself to a great study atmosphere.

You can curl up in your comforter with a cup of tea and review your notes in bed or read aloud without getting dirty looks. In fact, feel free to read in a funny accent. No one’s listening, anyway!

However, one drawback here is that it can be easy to let yourself get distracted. As long as you know you can resist the urge to give in and nap then this is a great option.

Option 2: Designated Quiet Spaces

This include the second and third floors of the library specifically. This is for those of you that need it quiet and appreciate some good old fashioned stress-empathy.

Nearly everyone in these spaces is there to get their work done and get it done well. It’s easy to stay on task when everyone around you is working equally hard and the upper library floors have a sense of camaraderie that’s difficult to emulate in other spaces.

A word to the wise: if you have a persistent cough you may want to shy away. You’ve never experienced true malice until a senior nursing student stares you down across the room with flashcards in her hands and a gaze that could refreeze the bluffs.

Option 3: Semi-Social Study Sites

This includes the first floor of the library, reserved study rooms and low-traffic parts of Kryzsko. These areas are generally filled with people studying, but for the most part include a social aspect that is lacking from the first two options in this list. These semi-social study areas are great for group study, discussion and general woe-sharing.

If you know that you get burned out just studying non-stop for hours then set yourself up in a place where you might bump into people. Give yourself a little reprieve or study with friends. For some, the low buzz of conversation is often comforting static that helps with anxieties. These areas are a great way to be productive while staying connected.

Option 4: The Social Butterfly’s Study Nests

This would include areas like Mugby Junction, Zane’s or the Jack Kane Dining Center. This is for the social studiers who like lively conversation about their class topics or debates over essay questions.

The noise level at all of these places is generally higher than the other categories, and they all feature the additional bonus of providing food! If you know that talking out your final presentation or trying to explain a difficult problem to a friend is the most effective way for you to remember things then these locations might be for you.

Also at Mugby, you actually have the opportunity to step off campus for a little bit. While it’s still close by, that bit of distance may be enough to clear your head.

Wherever you choose to study, maybe you’ll discover a new atmosphere that helps you retain information and compose prose like never before!

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Sophie Kaplan

Sophie graduated in 2014 with BA degrees in English Literature and Global Studies with a minor in Japanese Studies. She is from Northfield, MN and her interests include playing video games, cooking, studying Japanese language and culture and traveling.

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