When you’re a freshman living in the dorms at college, you experience some pretty interesting things. There’s nothing like a hundred college kids living in close quarters, on their own for the first time. There are students playing Frisbee in the hallway, ten different styles of music playing at once, and you’re guaranteed to be woken up by the fire alarm at least once a month at midnight., forced to evacuate in your pajamas because somebody burnt their popcorn in the microwave.
While it’s not all roses, living in the college dorms is a fun, sometimes wild, time. But at some point you have to remember that you’re there for a reason: to pass your classes and earn a degree. How can you hope to get any work done in your dorm room? You need to create a productive study zone for yourself. It’s not always easy, but here are some tips.
Coordinate with Your Roommate
The most immediate concern you have when trying to study in your dorm room is your roommate. You’re paired with an essentially random person, and you hope to get along, but it doesn’t always happen. Even if you become the best of friends, you’ll sometimes clash over use of the room. If you want to study when your roommate has their new girlfriend over or listen to music, it’s not going to happen. You need to coordinate with your roommate.
It’s a good idea to try and plan study sessions ahead of time. If you know you have a test coming up, think about when you’ll probably be studying for it. When it’s possible, let your roommate know a few days ahead of time that you’d like to study in the room then, and usually they’ll respect that. If you’re close with your roommate, you could even consider designating weekly study times for both of you.
Reinforce Your Barrier
There is only one thing that keeps your dorm room private and closed off from the rest of the building is your dorm room’s door. In college, doors are often left open and unlocked to accommodate lots of socializing. When you really need to study, don’t be so friendly. Close your room’s door and lock it to avoid uninvited guests and interruptions. Better yet, put a sign on your door that says something like, “I’m attempting to study. Please come back later. Thanks!”
Gather the Necessary Supplies
When you really need to crack down and seriously hit the books, you might need some extra supplies to help you out. In a dorm, earplugs are essential. When you can hear your neighbor’s music and talking through paper-thin walls, invest in a pair or two, and you’ll be happy you did. Also, make sure you have everything else you need on hand so you don’t need to leave your room and potentially become distracted when you run into friends. Gather your study materials, energy drinks, snacks, highlighters, and whatever else you’ll need and keep them close by.
Mark Weatherford is a high school English teacher and published author who often writes online for blogs. He generates content with the goal of encouragaing or helping students with everything from school choices to tips for writing good college essays.
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