We applaud your efforts to do actual work in college, and to show our support, we offer this advice for creating an effective work space in chaotic, cramped environments:
Communicate with your roommate
Living with someone else complicates and often disrupts a study schedule. Talk to your roommate about your need for quiet, focused time, and ask when she’d like to use the room and for what purpose. You might want to draw up a flexible schedule, e.g. absolute quite from 8-10 p.m. on weekdays, and absolute party madness on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Take over common space
Many dorms have group areas, some of which are designate for study and some of which are not. Even if they’re not, get a study group together and dominate that space with your nerdiness solidarity.
Work while others sleep
…Which probably means the morning. And if your roommate’s a light sleeper, the sound of computer keys might be too much. But if you’re productive in the early mornings and have time before class, get your work done then. That way, you’ll be able to relax at the end of the day.
Keep your workspace clean and organized
In other words, have one place in your room—your desk, presumably—where you do your work, and keep that place sacred. If it’s covered with stuff, you’re likely to get distracted before you even start. You never know, the organization of that space might help your thoughts get organized, too.
Go outside the room
In addition to dorm space, your college offers libraries (I hope), so if your brain thrives on silence, that might be the best place for you. I, on the other hand, prefer a happy café and a good pair of headphones.
How do you make sure you have a good, efficient place to study? Tell us here or on Facebook!