Midterm season is officially in full swing. Stress levels are at an all-time high. Students are cramming into Mugar like sardines. The GSU Starbucks is running out of coffee. Sleep deprivation levels are skyrocketing. And it’s only October!
It’s okay if you feel like pulling your hair out – we all do! But if you’re looking for some peace and quiet in these trying times, and you actually want to get things done without dealing with swarms of people, check out these 5 low-key study spots that will help you retain your sanity.
1. Boston Public Library – This is the Godfather of all study spots. People don’t even consider the largest library in the city when they think of places to study because it’s not on campus, but its just a quick T ride over to Copley Square. At the BPL, quiet is the law, so you never have to worry about people bothering you. Not to mention the building itself is incredible, and you feel as if you are studying in a place that was actually designed to let people relax and read. There are no Mugar cubicles here!
2. The Dean’s Lounge – On the Third Floor of the GSU, the Dean’s lounge is a little area that has big tables and big chairs. You’ll be studying in comfort for sure, and the chairs are always prime to take a nap in. Also, did I mention that there are no people? There is almost always a space open at the Dean’s Lounge.
3. Barnes and Noble – So believe it or not the B & N in Kenmore square actually has a space for people to sit and read. (Reading in a book store? Who’da thunk it!) There usually aren’t many people there and it’s really quiet. Just go up to the second floor of the store and you’ll see a little area lined with magazines thats just a prime-o spot for reading.
4. CAS Classrooms – If you really want to cheat the system and find a place with complete peace and quiet – then pop into a classroom somewhere in CAS sometime in the evening. By about 7, classes are pretty much done with, and there are plenty of open rooms scattered throughout the building. If you really just want to work without anyone else, then this is maybe the quietest way to do it. You could even bring in some friends and study using the white board if ya want.
Happy studying and good luck on midterms!
Finding somewhere to buckle down during exam season is important, but what do you listen to once you're there? I love film scores for when I need to focus and do some work. Scores are made to be driving, but not distracting, and sound great! Picking out the perfect study soundtrack can be daunting however, and searching the depths of Spotify for that one score that motivates you out of the hundreds of movies out there is an easy route to procrastination. Never fear, CA Sophia is here! I've found some of my favorite scores to keep you motivated no matter what you're doing.
1.) Thor: Ragnarok:
The score reflects the movie, and with upbeat electric steel-drum vibes, Thor: Ragnarok's score is as much fun as the film itself. This score would be great for when you need a quick energy boost to power through the end of a project.
2.) The Grand Budapest Hotel:
Wes Anderson's scores are as quirky as his movies, and with a mix of yodeling and rhythm the Grand Budapest Hotel is no exception. The score doesn't change much in cadence or volume, so if you thrive in consistency this is a great score for you!
3.) Pacific Rim:
Just as the movie Pacific Rim asks who doesn't love giant robots, the score asks who doesn't love electric guitars? One exciting riff later and you've got the rock-and-roll score to power through any paper.
Sometimes you just want some jazz. More traditionally musical than the other scores on this list, Whiplash serves up smoother tunes and some bigger band bops to keep you on track.
5.) Speed Racer:
You may remember Speed Racer from its brief partnership with the candy baby bottle pop, but what you should remember is the absolute banger of a score it provides. Big band meets classic rock meets the fast and the furious, Speed Racer will help you close the gap between you and the finish line in no time.
There are tons of other fantastic scores out there, but that's all for me! Good listening folks!
Ok, lets be honest. We all start the semester thinking we’re going to stay on top of the ball, take notes on the readings so we won’t have to cram later, all the good stuff. But then midterms roll around…
Cramming doesn’t necessarily mean panic though. I’ve found that as long as I’m organized about it, I can actually get a lot done. So here’s my advice for making the most of that inevitable cram session:
1. Location, location, location: My room doesn’t work for me. I always think I’ll put on some headphones and get work done, but there’s just too much to distract me. Admitting that and heading over to Mugar or a study lounge always helps. (Finding a good spot is the other trick, since Mugar tends to fill up around midterms and finals.)
2. Music: I also had to admit to myself that playing music while studying is a bad idea. I spend too much time singing along in my head or making a new playlist, and all the sudden I’ve wasted half an hour. The exception I’ve found is my soundtrack station on Pandora. Added bonus is that homework feels a lot more important when the Dark Knight theme song is playing in the background.
3. Know your enemy. (Too dramatic?) Going into half a semester’s worth of readings without a gameplan is never helpful. Taking a minute to look at the syllabus and come up with a plan makes it a lot more manageable. I always try to rank the readings by what I think will be on the test, and start with those first.
4. Bring everything. Before I leave my room I make sure I have all the chargers I need, books, notebooks, etc. If I leave something behind I usually use it as an excuse to leave the library and head back.
5. No Internet! Admittedly I’m terrible with this one. It starts with one “I’ve been studying for a while, quick Facebook break” and next thing I know I’m taking Buzzfeed character quizzes for shows I don’t even watch. Don’t do it. Stay strong. You’re better than Buzzfeed.