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Posted April 8, 2016

Making The Perfect Postgrad Student Study Space

Perfect Student Study SpacePostgraduate study is hard enough as it is, without feeling trapped or uncomfortable about your surroundings. Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this – make the study space you want.

Here are some easy (and cheap) tips on how to craft the perfect space in your postgraduate accommodation to enable you to be a happy and productive student. Just don’t spend too long on this, because that’d be procrastinating, and we all know how that ends!

Pick the right spot

To create the perfect student study space you need to start by making sure you pick the right spot, and you need to consider various aspects to make sure you get this right.

  • Lighting – ideally, you want as much natural light as possible to avoid getting headaches during lengthy revision periods.
  • Temperature – you want to make sure it’ll be a nice temperature all year round – whether this is next to a radiator, or simply somewhere you can fill with blankets when it's cold.
  • Comfort – it is essential to be as comfortable as possible when you’re studying. One thing that is always distracting is getting aches and pains from sitting uncomfortably, so nip this in the bud. Whether it’s adjusting a computer chair to the right height for a desk or deciding to pile in on cushions on the floor, work out what is best for you.
  • Plug sockets – finally, check for plug sockets! You’ll almost certainly need to use electronic devices so make sure you’re either in range or have bought an extension cord. It seems simple, but it’s very important.

Make the study space suit you

A big flat surface should be the starting point for any study space. Your desk should be large enough to accommodate a range of books, laptop, notes and other necessary items. If a suitable surface cannot be a dedicated space for study, consider where your materials will be stored when not in use. A hall cupboard or other unused space may be available and stacking boxes can be filled with your study materials.

Think about the sort of things that help put you in the right mood to study. Maybe you’re the sort of person who likes to create an atmosphere – scented candles, fairy lights and mood music. Or perhaps you prefer no distractions at all. In which case, perhaps a simple desk, with the right amount of lighting and a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones is the best investment.

Other things that can be helpful are filing the area with subject information emblazoned on Post-it notes, or mapping out important information on large sheets of paper and keeping these in focus. This can be useful if you’re the sort of person who can get distracted by your surroundings, because at least then your surroundings are also study-related!

Be honest with yourself about whether it’s working

Not everyone is suited to working in a home environment – some people need the space away in order to be able to work efficiently. It’s OK to admit that no home study space will suit you, and to spend your time in libraries instead. That said, before taking this step it’s always worth going back to the past two points and reassessing. Have you actually made a study space that suits you, or is there something particular hindering you? It could be a simple fix – perhaps you find your legs start to ache, in which case look at how you’re sitting and adjust accordingly. Other times, it might require an honest look at how you study – do you use being in your space as an excuse to procrastinate? If so, this isn’t a problem with the space so much as your methods. Going out to libraries might work, but it may also just lead you to procrastinate in other ways.

Change it up

Finally, don’t be afraid to change it up as the year goes by. What is best for revising for January exams might not be best for doing your dissertation. Assess your needs regularly and adjust accordingly. Whether it’s investing in a portable heater, or just ensuring that you’re always in the best position to get the best light, it’s worth considering. After all, it’s your space, and you know how to make it suit you more than anyone else.

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