The Studying Game
October 3, 2011
With the reality of schoolwork setting in, it is important to think about studying. We could spend time talking about proper study techniques. We could talk about how much a student should study per class hour. Cramming right before a test versus spreading out studying over a longer amount of time is another important conversation. However, it's also important (and much more fun) to talk about where to study.
After years of observation and study I have concluded that there are three basic stages of studying, each with a paired location. Never proven by science or printed in a journal, these are the raw observations. The implications of these observations are vast—giving students the freedom to choose location in relation to studying productivity.
Let's start at the deepest level. At stage three of studying, the student really has to get a lot of work done. Maybe a movie with dorm members replaced last night's study time, and now it is time to put the nose to the grindstone. Or attending the "Interruption" (a concert series presented by our student body) literally interrupted the time that was originally allotted for studying. Whatever the case, the fact is productivity needs to be high.
That being the case, it is library time. The library is the home of efficiency. With rows of cubicles, computers and other study areas, the people who make the trek to the library do so with studying on the brain. Here you will find all the resources you need to crank out a paper, chapter outline, or study for tomorrow's test. This environment tips the productivity scale high, but decreases socializing. In other words, there is a lot of studying and not a lot of talking.
Stage two studying happens in the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies. The newest building on campus provides a happy medium between studying and socializing. Different areas of the building offer nice views of campus and add a nice ambiance for pressure-less working. There will be moderate productivity and moderate socializing. Friends will stop and chat for a while, but also realize that you need to get work done. So if the pressure isn't too great and a student is up for a more relaxing environment, the CBTS is the place to be.
On the other end of the spectrum let me introduce you to stage one studying. This is the most lax type of studying and perhaps we should not even call it studying. Stage one studying takes place in our student center. Students bring books to read and papers to write, but end up meeting friends. Studying soon takes its place on the back burner. While the studying is relatively low, the socializing can be very high.
Now, there are certainly exceptions to these principles. Examples would include library naps, the party in the CBTS, and a determined attitude in the student center. As a rule, pairing studying stages with studying goals will produce the best outcome for the studying/socializing student.
Having presented the evidence, now you can better prepare yourself for proper study/socializing habits before you even step on our campus.