Revising on campus- Beyond the library
Term 3 is usually characterised by a packed library (although it’s unclear how many are genuinely studying/revising). So what exactly is so special about the library? What are the main benefits? What are the alternatives?
Firstly, I myself have been using the library, especially during the Easter holidays. Personally, I found it to be the most suitable atmosphere for focusing on the task in hand, as I feel accountable to not hogging a space whilst doing nothing but scrolling through my phone, or bingeing YouTube on my laptop. When I used the library, I always brought nothing with me apart from my water bottle and my phone kept firmly in my pocket. Using the computer libraries creates a default where it’s harder to log-in to your social media accounts on your personal laptop, so you can focus on nothing but academic tasks.
The library is of course full of resources available to you immediately, so if you need it for your revision or assignment there’s no better place to be. Another big benefit is that it is situated in pretty much right in the middle of campus, so if you need to go to a building to speak in person with a tutor or similar, it’s definitely more productive than communicating via email.
However, come term 3, the library is understandably packed, and increasingly, you find yourself happy just to secure any seat without any regards to a comfortable surrounding. Then, you have the uncertainty of whether your neighbours will be excessively noisy, but you don’t want to be the first to confront them. Finally, you bump across your friends who are scavenging for study areas, and you get distracted again.
Unless you are heavily reliant on resources available in the library, I have found that revising or doing work in the library is actually arbitrary. Whilst you no longer have the benefits of using desktops in the library, I have tried to replicate the same effect of not being distracted by social media, by ensuring that my laptop screen is visible to most people walking past, just so I can hold myself accountable to doing work, because even if people aren’t looking, it just gives you that pressure to not switch to some irrelevant tab. Recently, I really enjoyed working in the FABulous faculty of arts building (pun intended) where there’s some nice coffee tables to work in on the many floors it holds. The oculus is also a good option, albeit the lack of plug in sockets.
In summary, working on campus has allowed me to be more productive than working in the comfort of my room, and particularly during holiday when most people don’t go on campus, the library has proven to be the most perfect environment for me to finish work. However, if it is crowded as it often gets in term time, there are still plenty of nice options around campus and plenty of study spaces. The most important thing is to just find a suitable working environment, settling in without getting distracted, and rewarding yourself at the end of the day with some relaxation back at home. Of course if you’re disciplined enough, you can also do all of this completely at home, although a change in scenery can also help detach your associations of your room being the same place for leisure, work, sleep etc.