Hey guys! When I first arrived at college, I had no idea how to study. I had done really well in high school without ever really having to work at it (with a few exceptions). I had never really experienced classes where I couldn’t get a high grade with ease. My freshman year of college, when I studied, I usually studied in my bed, while watching netflix. I was easily distracted by my phone and tv show, and I was rarely truly dedicating myself to my studies. Occasionally I would use my desk, but that was rare as well. I had not yet discovered the wonder of the library study session.
I realized when my grades started rolling in that my method wasn’t cutting it. I admit I still studied in bed pretty often, but I knew when I needed to tighten my belt and get down to it – and that’s when I started going to the library. Nights before tests or big projects, I would either go by myself or with a few friends to the four story brick building in the middle of campus. The first few times I did this, I would sit down at the first table I found and only be able to work for about an hour before I realized I needed something that was in my dorm room! Needless to say, once I left for the night, I never returned.
Not only did I forget things, I often got distracted by the people around me, my phone, my friends, or other, similar things. Fortunately through trial and error, I have perfected the art of the library cram session. Today, I share my knowledge with you so you won’t have to go through the same struggles!
Just so you know, this post contains a few affiliate links, but only because I really love these products and I want to share them with you!
Preparing for the Library
Before leaving for the library, make sure you have everything you need. I’ve included my own list of items and why I bring them, but each person requires their own items!
- Laptop and charger – make sure your laptop is fully charged and you charger cord is fairly long, as you can’t always get a table right next to an outlet.
- The materials for whatever class you are studying. Take any textbooks, notes, and paperwork you have from the class, especially when studying for comprehensive exams or writing essays.
- Notebooks and pens – If you are researching, you will want somewhere to write down what you learn. You can also mind map for your essay, write vocab for your test, or whatever use you have for paper and pen! Writing things down by hand is proven to be remembered more than typing, so I always have a notebook on hand at the library!
- P.S. My favorite pens are these! *affiliate*
- Full bottle of water & a snack – The last thing you want in the middle of the library session is to get thirsty or hungry and have to leave. Staying hydrated is good for you and helps prevent you from getting headaches. My water bottle is a Hydro Flask like this one, which I use because it keeps my water super cold for a long time! (I hate warm water). *Affiliate* I usually bring snacks that will fill me up but won’t make me feel gross, like crackers and hummus, carrots, or cheese sticks.
- Headphones – Depending on what I am studying, I can either jam to music (like Hamilton on my Amazon Prime Account *affiliate*) or listen to white noise. I usually listen to this when I am looking for white noise. Either way, other people in the library can be loud and distracting, so headphones can help block them out.
- Advil (or similar product) – because sometimes staring at textbooks for a long time can give you a headache!
- Any stationary you need – I usually bring sticky notes for writing in my textbooks, page tabs to mark important passages, a mini stapler, and my Mildliners – which are like low-key highlighters that are super gorgeous in more muted tones! *affiliate*
- Calculator – I don’t take math or science classes, but I’m sure a calculator is must for those who do!
- Dress in layers – sometimes my library is hot, sometimes it’s cold. I like to have multiple layers so I can add or remove as I see fit. Being uncomfortably cold or hot will not help you study!
- An optional note here – if you can live without, leave your phone at home. It will not add to your study session, it will only add an unneeded distraction. This is hard for me also, so don’t feel bad if you can’t leave it behind.
What to Do Once You Arrive
- Choose a table – don’t just randomly sit down. If you are using books housed in the library, sit near where they are located. If you have a laptop, make sure you are near an outlet. Try to choose a table large enough to spread out your work!
- Choose a table with a real chair, avoid the comfy seats at all costs!
- Ditch your friends – as fun as it may seem, if you seriously need to get work done, you need to ditch your friends. I can’t tell you have many times I have gone to the library and spent so many extra hours due to distractions from my friends! Obviously there are exceptions to this, like working on group projects!
- Find somewhere quiet. My library has a whole floor dedicated to silence. If you are easily distracted, find a quiet corner to do your work.
- Get out everything you need. Make sure you have everything. You don’t want to get into a rhythm and suddenly realize you are missing something vital.
- Put your phone away and get down to business!
There you have it folks! My tried and true tips for having a super productive library session! What do you take when you go to the library? Do you think I left something off my list? Let me know in the comments below!