At the risk of sounding almost Barbie-like, I’m just going to say it upfront—school and studying are hard. This challenge is part of what makes learning and school so rewarding—and part of what makes it such a drag sometimes. We further our education so that we can strengthen our professional prospects and broaden our minds.
That being said, one area of education and studying that many people overlook is the actual environment in which you do it. It is essential that this space be structured and maintained carefully if we want to really get the most out of our education and the time we spend studying.
When I was in school for my construction management degree, interestingly one of the biggest challenges I found was finding a productive space to work in. Similarly, one of the most difficult aspects of online learning can be adjusting to learning outside of a traditional classroom. Students find themselves at a loss when they are trying to complete school assignments outside of a school structure. Try these tips for building a successful at-home classroom.
Where you complete your school tasks plays as much of a role in your success as a student as your teacher, reading, or self-will does. Most online students complete their coursework from the comfort of their own homes. While this is one of the biggest advantages of online and distance learning, it can also be a difficult thing to adjust to.
To construct the most productive and functioning study space within your home, you have to pick the optimal area. Find a spot in your home that you can solely dedicate to studying. Whether you pick a corner of your living room or you have an entirely separate room to designate as your study, be sure that this space is only used for school work. When you enter this space, you should train your mind and body to prepare for studying and focus. One of the biggest mistakes that students make is trying to get homework or reading completed from their beds or couches. These spots are designated for sleeping or lounging—not the ideal state of mind for studying.
Something that builders and architects focus on strongly is the lighting in a space or building. They want to create rooms and buildings that utilize as much natural light as possible and that are lit in a way that feels comfortable and natural. Things should be no different for you when you are constructing a study space.
Find a part of the house or structure that is lit in just the right way. For the sake of your eye health, doing work by natural light from a window or skylight is ideal. Find a way to keep space lit in just the right way. Blinding fluorescent lights can be distracting and cause eye issues, but dimly lit areas can be too restful and also cause eye damage. Choose careful lighting—you won’t regret it.
Of course, you want to find a way to be comfortable while you are studying. Of course, though, there are times that we take this a step too far. Studying from your plush bed is probably not wise. One of my biggest difficulties as a student was finding a space that was comfortable for long periods of time. Even if I found a comfortable chair or position to sit in, I would eventually get very bored with the space and need to move. By comfort, I mean both comfortable and inviting.
Build a space that is inspiring. Even with a very comfortable and productive seating arrangement, if walls are stark and white things are going to feel uncomfortable. Decorate the space so that it inspires you to continue studying. Don’t put things in the area that you know will distract you, but you should also seek some sort of stimulation for the area.