Plants can increase a feeling of calm in a study space, and a corkboard can help keep track of important course information. Thrift stores might offer a good deal on a desk.

Plants can increase a feeling of calm in a study space, and a corkboard can help keep track of important course information. Thrift stores might offer a good deal on a desk.

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Create the best study space for a new semester

By: Emily Jones | C&G Newspapers | Published August 21, 2018

 Keeping a calendar on the desk can help plan ahead while eliminating the distractions available on a phone or laptop computer. If a desk feels cluttered, take some items off it.

Keeping a calendar on the desk can help plan ahead while eliminating the distractions available on a phone or laptop computer. If a desk feels cluttered, take some items off it.

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Editor’s note: Special Writer Emily Jones is a student at the University of Detroit Mercy.

METRO DETROIT — Attending college may be one of the most stressful things a person does in their lifetime.

Finding time to study is something that must be done. With current technology, a student might not even attend class in person, and instead take online courses. Having a dedicated study space is a must.

The most important element to have when building a great study space is obtaining a sturdy and reliable desk. There are many different kinds to consider, depending on whether you want a space-saving model, a standing desk or one that can hold dual monitors. 

Most of a student’s loan money is being used on books and gas, so thrift stores are an attractive alternative to paying full price for something that may be used for only a couple of years. This may be a great opportunity to save some money and get a piece of furniture that is made out of real wood.

“I wish I had desk room,” said Brianna Gross, a University of Detroit Mercy student and nursing major.

A lack of space can be a common occurrence for those living with family or roommates. Gross said that if she does study at home, it’s usually at the kitchen table. 

If space isn’t available at home, then one can set up a study space anywhere. Necessity is the mother of invention. Gross said that she studies most often at the College of Health Professions. 

“I feel like it’s closer and I don’t have to walk. All my resources are right there,” Gross said.

Thrift stores have a good selection of chairs that may be inexpensive, and as in Eastern Michigan University graduate Nicole DeFour’s case, you may be able to use them instead of having a whole setup.

“I never studied in the library,” said DeFour, who holds a master’s degree in sports administration. 

“I liked being in a space where I felt comfortable. … I had a desk, but I liked sitting in my pink moon chair. … The more relaxed I was, the more I could dive into deep material.”

Office chairs, arm chairs and moon chairs are rife on sites like Facebook Marketplace, so check those sites often.

A physical calendar should be kept at the desk for quick date-checking glances, instead of opening up your phone screen, which could lead to further distractions.

A corkboard or fabric board should be available to hang up syllabi, event flyers and a semester calendar. 

To simplify, anything that shouldn’t be kept inside a course binder can be kept up on a corkboard. Make sure to toss out any documents that aren’t relevant after a certain period of time to avoid clutter.

Plants can be kept on the desk as well to increase the feeling of calm for your area, as well as provide some decoration. Other decorations like motivational posters, paperweights and figurines should be kept to reasonable amounts. A good rule of thumb is if the desk feels cluttered, then things must be taken off.

Lastly, pencils, pens, sticky notes and a stapler should be fully stocked and on hand so there is no need to get up and roam the house. If not, this could lead to breaks in concentration and eventually becoming distracted.

A good study space doesn’t have to picture perfect; it just has to work for you. One doesn’t need a solid oak desk with expensive lamps and a leather office chair to get an A on that microbiology exam.

Turn to thrift stores and online sites to save some money, and you’ll have a study space that won’t break the bank.