Martz: Choose the right location to maximize study success

So you’ve finally stopped procrastinating and you’re ready to actually do some work.

The question is, where? There are lots of places to study on Case Western Reserve University’s campus, and there are pros and cons to all of them. Whether you’re one of those adventurous few who can actually get work done in a Starbucks, or adamant that you do your best work in bed, here are a few tips.

A residence hall is the easiest spot to get to, but therein lies the problem. The comfiness of your room might be easily accessible and, if you’re one of those lucky few, quiet, but it will never not be a distraction. The act of packing up what you need and moving yourself to a good study location might be just another thing for you to put off until later, but it’s going to start you on the path to a good study session. If that intro-level class bores you to tears already, reading it in your bed is just going to put you to sleep.

Kelvin Smith Library definitely offers a different atmosphere than a residence hall room, and is probably the most popular study location on campus. It’s pretty centrally located and it is our library, so that gives you a good idea as to why so many people hole themselves up in there for increasingly scary lengths of time. Whether you get a private study room or collapse on the floor, KSL is a solid option.

There are dangers, however, to going with a group of friends to the basement of KSL at almost midnight to finish up that PowerPoint presentation you’ve been putting off for a week. The most important piece of advice I can give you is, go with the friends who will motivate you to do work, but also know when it’s time to take your books into one of the comfy cubicles, and get some work done all by yourself.

There are other libraries on campus too. If you want to be bullied into doing work by absolute silence and imposing mahogany furniture, you can study in the Allen Memorial Medical Library. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and you will feel absolutely stupid watching Netflix surrounded by all those books. I tried once, I have never felt more ashamed.

Or, there’s the Sears Library Building, which has a more open feel and is nice if you have an hour between classes on the quad. A warning though: between Grab-It and Einstein Bros. there are a lot of food-borne distractions there.

And, although winter might last all year long at CWRU, the sun does actually shine sometimes, and with it brings a lot of beautiful outdoor study spaces. Honestly, any park bench or picnic table you can find in the area will work for getting you out of your dorm and into some sunshine, but the small courtyard on the Mather Quad is a great spot to study. It’s in a good location with lots of seating, and if you only have a little while between classes in that area, it can spur you to crank out some work.

When Cleveland’s winter finally banishes you from the outdoors, the Peter B. Lewis Building is another option. It has a great study area with interesting chairs to get stuck in, and lots of modern furniture and natural light. Located across from Mather Quad, it’s a good option if you’re not among the minority of people who think doing their homework in the snow is the perfect motivator.

There are many more places to study on campus, but these different options are a good start to finding a study setup that works for you. Whether you do best being peer pressured into studying at the Medical Library, or huddled in a room with your friends at KSL, just try to get out of your residence hall room.