Study in comfort of your own room


Mark Capapas

Law students study in the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Memorial Law Library on Oct. 9, 2018.

By Shivali Shukla, Assistant Special Sections Editor

I was always advised not to study in my dorm or my bedroom. I was told that my living space and my workspace should be kept separate from each other. I’ve always kept this at the back of my mind and eventually convinced myself that I just couldn’t accomplish anything in my room. I used it as an excuse to be unproductive any time I was in there, telling myself that I’d get work done once I left, and staying in my room was my time to relax. Turns out that was just a recipe for laziness.

While it’s true that it may be hard to focus in the same place you eat, sleep and hang out with friends, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Sometimes you just don’t want to get up and walk the 30-foot distance to the library right next to your dorm, or you don’t want to risk walking in on the couple who took over the study room on your floor. That’s when you make the most of your personal study oasis: your bedroom. Here is how.

Strategically organize the furniture in your room

When you first move in, set up your room so that you optimize the space for your needs. If you’re sharing the room, talk to your roommate about how you both can compromise on your expectations. If you want your desk facing the window, try to put it there. If you want more space to study on the floor, see if you can loft your bed. When you have to get things done, your room becomes an extension of your head space, so know yourself and your needs.

Get a lamp for your desk

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Often times, you will have those late nights when you’re stuck grinding out that 20-page paper on 19th Century novelists long after your roommate has already gone to bed. Once your roommate turns that light off, relying on your trusty desk lamp may save your grade.

Keep nonessential things off your desk

Especially if you work at your desk and not on your bed or anywhere else, keeping this area neat and tidy will make you feel more inclined to actually sit down and use the space. When you pile all your Quad Day scores and your calculus worksheets and your empty ramen cups onto your desk, you’ll be less likely to use the space as anything else other than storage. Find some other places to put these things, and use the trash can for your garbage.

Close the door

When I lived in the dorms, we often left the door open at the beginning of the semester for people to pop in and say hello whenever they wanted. Our door was also always unlocked, so people would walk in and out whenever they pleased. As much as we loved the company, if we had locked that door or kept it closed more often to begin with, we probably wouldn’t have had so many distractions every time we tried to be productive. Set boundaries and say no if you need to. After all, you truly did come here to get that degree. 

Decorate, or don’t

Depending on whether you like your workspace to feel homey or more monotonous, create the atmosphere that will bring you the most comfort and productivity. Light a scented candle, hang up some photos of friends and family, or keep the walls bare. Recreate your ideal workspace because, at the end of the day, it’ll only be what you make of it.

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