It’s the time of year when students are buckling down to their studies as summer break peaks over the horizon. For some, the end of this year marks the end of sixth-form education and the beginning of university life.
There are a few things they could learn from students who began university last year. Many of them have realized the importance of a good study set-up. Even before COVID, it was important to have a place conducive to all of the reading and writing that’s part of the school year. This year, remote education has made it even more important.
So, what are the most important elements of a good study space?
1. Laptop stand
Textbooks are steadily being replaced by online readers, a much-needed lightening of the load for students’ backpacks and wallets. It does mean, however, that you’ll spend a great deal of your study time at your laptop. If you don’t have a good posture, this can give you a bunch of ergonomic issues, such as neck and back pain. That’s why libraries at colleges and universities often have free monitors for students to work at. However, it’s also important to have a decent place to work in your student housing. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a laptop stand, as well as a separate mouse and keyboard.
2. Adjustable desk chair
An adjustable office chair is another must-have for your study room. In the beginning, it may be tempting to study in bed or on the couch with your housemates. Once exam period kicks in, though, the lack of a good chair will quickly become a huge annoyance. An adjustable desk chair ensures that you can sit in a comfortable position whilst working at any table. It also has the advantage of clearly distinguishing between places that are meant for relaxation, such as your bed and couch, and places where you work.
Any student housing is chock full of distractions, whether it’s your housemates throwing parties or loud discussions in the study area. It’s not always easy to find a place to focus on your studies. Even if you live at home, it can be hard to find silent time. Imagine a parent vacuuming when you’re cramming for a test or a sibling who won’t turn down their favourite TV programme. This is where headphones can be your secret weapon. There are, of course, specialised headsets that cancel out noise from your surroundings. It’s also true that listening to music can help you focus. Additionally, headsets are useful for listening back to lectures and attending online meetings. It’s best if you can connect your headphones to both your laptop and phone. Pay attention to the connection when purchasing your headset, as the type can differ by brand. You can also opt for a wireless Bluetooth headset.
4. Backpack/laptop bag
During your time at university, you will spend quite a bit of time travelling to school and back. A decent bag with a good laptop compartment is a necessity. You may find, however, that you no longer need as large a backpack as you did during secondary school and sixth form. You should see which bag suits you best according to how you travel, whether by bike or public transport. You should also think about what you’ll want to carry. For example, will you want to carry exercise clothes or is it enough to find a bag that fits your laptop and a few books?
5. External hard drive
Your laptop will soon be full of important documents and materials. However, laptops can sometimes break or be stolen. That’s why it’s smart to back up your files regularly. You can do that through a cloud programme or with an external hard drive.
With these tips, you can set yourself up for studying success, regardless of where your education takes you.