Your study environment

Do you know there are other aspects to your learning style besides being auditory, visual, or kinesthetic? Your unique learning style also has to do with where you study best. Think of it as your study environment. Just as every organism has its own niche in the environment, you must find your "study niche."

It goes without saying that you will study best where you are comfortable. But what makes you comfortable? Let's look at some things you might not always think about when you study. If you are at ease, study time won't be such a chore.

Let's talk about the space where you study. Do you like a large, open space or a small, cozy one? Do you like to have other people around? Or are they distracting to you? If you like a large room with lots of people in it, you might want to study at the library. If you need a small, quiet room, you should try to stay at home in your own room, office, or den.

Next, let's examine some other preferences. Do you like bright florescent light? Maybe it helps you stay awake and
focused. Some people like softer lighting, such as lamps. Do you like a warm room? Some people get sleepy in a
warm room. They need it to be a little chilly in order to stay focused. If you feel the need to adjust the light or
temperature in a room, you should probably stay at home and study by yourself. It is not easy to dim the lights or
turn up the heat at the library. You might get nasty looks from the librarian and your fellow patrons!

Are sounds distracting to you? Some people are bothered by background noise when they are trying to study.
Others can tune it out. Some others actually prefer some soft background noise. If you are easily distracted or if
you prefer sound, you can try listening to soft music through headphones as you study. If you like it absolutely
quiet, you can wear earplugs. You can even try using headphones without music. They will help muffle sounds
around you.

You can experiment to find the study environment that suits you best. But make one promise to yourself- change
whatever doesn't work. Be honest with yourself. You may think you'd like to be with others or that you can listen
to music or watch TV while you study. But if it really isn't working for you, find a different way to study. You'll be
doing yourself a favor in the long run.

No matter what kind of study environment you prefer, there are certain things that need to be in place. First, you
will need a place to sit. Also, if you need to do some writing, you will need a hard surface to write on. Some people
do best sitting in an office chair at a desk. Others prefer a lap desk or clipboard on a beanbag chair.

Make sure you have all the supplies you need right in the room with you. You should have pens, pencils, erasers,
and paper. Reference materials such as a dictionary and an atlas should be close by. Other office supplies come in
handy, also. You might need scissors, a stapler, and a calculator. Having these things close by and organized will
save you precious study time. You won't have to go all over looking for them.

There is no "right" or "wrong" way to study. You have to find what works best for you. Experiment and make
changes. Avoid situations that don't work for you. Get in the "zone"- the study zone.