It’s hard for me to believe that I just turned in my second midterm as a graduate student. Part of me hopes that time continues to fly this fast and that I’ll have my degree in no time. The other part of me wants to slowly savor the challenge the next 11 courses will undoubtedly bring. But I suppose that’s what trade conferences are for; continually learning more about your industry and those you serve.
I love being challenged, but what I’ve found to be most challenging as a grad student is finding the energy and time to read for class. Granted this semester is a little insane on my schedule. Take this week for instance. I have to read a 100+ page book which is typically no issue for me. Since I stare at a blank wall at my desk at home, and because I can’t stay away from Twitter if I’m at my desk in the office, I decided I would try to find a good place to call my “study home.” The college doesn’t have a formal student union, so the library is the typical hot spot on campus. I tried studying there last semester, but that was an utter failure for someone with such short attention spans like myself. (Although, a man sitting in the cubicle next to me one night had the brilliant idea of ear plugs.)
My job has allowed me to embrace a work shifting mentality, and I’ve found a great home in Panera Bread as a temporary office when I leave Charleston. With that in mind, I figured I could attempt studying at a local bookstore. It worked for my boyfriend, so it could work for me, right? How about no. I was more focused on the music coming from the ceiling above my chair than I was on the words in front of me. Plus, my left foot kept falling asleep.
In hopes of getting through at least a chapter of the book Monday night, I went home thinking I would sit at my desk and read until I found a better place. That’s when procrastination kicked into fifth gear and I felt the need to clean up my usually spotless room. Finally, after the room was vacuumed, the receipts put away and all the old magazines recycled, I was able to finish the last few pages of Chapter One.
I haven’t opened the book since Monday night, which means I need to get moving and finish the book before the Buffalo Bills start playing on Sunday. Even though I know how it will end, I still want to watch the game and munch on a chicken finger hoagie. So, hope for the best for the Bills and wish me luck in finding a good study place!
The I95 Expedition: Part I
Getting to Know You
How I survived my first year as a grad student
One thought on “Wanted: a quiet, cozy study space.”
I know what you’re saying. I have the same issues. I’ve found that the best places for me to get work done are places I loathe and want to leave as soon as possible.
For example, right now, I am sitting on my couch. I do not loathe it, do not want to leave, and am getting NOTHING DONE. Usually, I sit at my desk in Cheatham Hall in my uncomfortable wooden chair under the glaring flourescent lights. You’ve seen it. The whole place is about as welcoming to work in as a lumber yard. I just want to get out of there and I’m always productive there. In undergrad I went to the God-forsaken Math Emporium. Man, I hate that place, but good Lord could I get some work done there.
So, I suggest you seek out somewhere you don’t want to be, but chain yourself there until you are done (I actually did that one day with my computer lock in Cheatham). Think “Emergency room.” Think “Laundromat.” Think, “North Charleston.” Think creative. I’m sure you’ll get your studying done ;).