As much as I suggest that you regularly do your homework and studying in the same location – doing so has so many benefits! – there are also advantages to mixing up your study environment from time to time. While coffee shops, book stores and libraries are the typical study nooks that might come to mind, sometimes it’s cool to think outside the box. Below, I suggest four alternative places to study in. And yes, the first suggestion is “Libraries” – but I have an angle. Read on.
4 odd but great places to study in
Okay, I know libraries are basically the most not-odd place to study in ever. But I’m talking about going to a different library. Not your library: Someone else’s library. There’s something so cool about the contradictory yet simultaneous newness (new location) and oldness (most libraries have a universal feel) of going to a library that’s not your own.
Here’s some ideas for how to pull this one off:
- Hit up the library of the town next to you. Check this listing of public libraries in the United States.
- If you live in a rural area, head into the library of the closest city for a change. Or if you’re already a city dweller, leave the hustle and find a library in a quieter town.
- My favorite: Go to the library of another educational establishment, ideally one that is one level higher than your own. For example, go to a high school library if you’re in middle school. Or a college library if you’re in high school. Or if you’re already in college, hit up another college’s library. I offer this advice because it can be very motivating to surround yourself with people ahead of you (academically).
You might think that museums are weird places to study in. Yes. But that’s also the title of this article, so … yeah.
What’s so cool about museums is that they tend to give off the same vibe that libraries do: Vibes of focus, academia, musty paper and accomplishment. Plus, they’re quiet! You may or may not have to pay for admission, but if so, it’s worth it.
(Here’s a tip: Many libraries offer free museum passes! Check with your local library.)
So how do you make this work? Find a museum near you, but look for one that’s on the larger side. Here’s a listing of most museums in the United States. Large public museums offer more amenities than small museums, and this is a good thing. You’ll typically find plenty of seating options to suit your preference (both in and outside of the actual galleries), comfortable chairs, free Wi-Fi, food and beverage options, bathrooms, etc. Plus, if you need a break, there’s plenty to look at. Do you feel me now?
3. HOME OFFICE
If you live at home and your parents have a home office, ask to use it for studying. It’s likely already set up with the typical office equipment that you’d need for your study session (pens, paper, printer, swivel chair(!), etc.), so all you’d need to bring are your books and notes.
If you don’t have a home office, or you don’t live with someone who does, then get creative about finding a home office. When I was in college, I would often drive 90 minutes to my aunt and uncle’s house in Connecticut, where I would stay and study for the weekend. It was perfect. Someone else’s home (as long as you know the person well – otherwise, it would be creepy) can be ideal for studying; you feel comfortable enough, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep the second you sit down. (I may or may not have fallen asleep the second I sat down, but that may or may not have been because Aunt Judy and Uncle Willy had cats and dogs that were sleep-inducing snuggle monsters.)
You could also ask a friend if you could study at their house, and while you’re there, casually suggest that you study in their home office. How sly.
Again, the title of this article is 4 odd but great places to study in – so I’m still on target here.
Of course, studying outside takes some effort and planning because the weather is a considerable factor. However, if you get yourself a nice day, studying outside can be an awesome experience.
Where exactly you study outside depends on what you’re studying. If you’ll be using a laptop or if you’ll be writing a good amount (on paper or computer), you’ll probably want to find some place with a picnic table or other raised flat surface. (Sitting on the ground with a laptop is only comfortable for like 10 minutes.) If you’ll just be reading, then you can pretty much cozy up anywhere outside: On a stone wall, on a bench, against a tree, on a blanket/towel on the ground, in a park, in your backyard, in a school’s common area, etc.
If you’ll be needing internet connection for your study session, you can sometimes pick up a signal from a nearby building, or you could just tether your laptop to your cell phone service. There are ways and there are ways.
My personal experience with odd places to study in
When I was in college, I had three odd places that were great to study in, and I regularly rotated among all three: The tip, tip, top floor of the library (so high up that I swear my ears popped at the top of the stairs), a small common area of a seldom-used science-lab building (hey – I said odd), and the lawn behind the school greenhouse. I think I thought that all the oxygen released by the plants gave me an extra mental boost. But I majored in English/Spanish … so … my science might be a little off. Anyway — each location gave off a different vibe, and I chose different study nooks based on what and how I was feeling.
So I encourage you to be on the lookout for your own odd place to study in. Keep your eyes open for corners, tables, clusters of chairs, and other empty spaces when you’re out and about. You never know where your ideal study nook might be hiding.