Creating An Off-Campus Study Space

By Julia Dunn on July 27, 2015

This article is brought to you by CORT, a subsidiary of Berkshire-Hathaway and the world’s largest furniture rental and relocation services company. To learn more about how we can help college students like you, click here.

When you live on campus for a year or two, it’s as though everything you could ever need is just minutes away: food, supplies, entertainment, company, and quite importantly, a solid study space to which you can retreat whenever you want to catch up on your ecology homework or ponder the authorial intent of T.S. Eliot for your literature class.

On campus, study spaces are abundantly available for students in various capacities. But when you move off campus, you’ll need to have a functional and effective study space to call your own when you can’t always go on campus for last-minute studying.

Here’s how to create your own personal study room when you move into off-campus housing.

Make your space comfortable–but only 80 percent comfortable.

You want to feel relaxed in your study space, of course. But if too many distractions surround you in your study room, you probably won’t want to finish your statistics homework more than you want to watch the new episode of “Next Food Network Star” on your new flat-screen TV.

Off-campus study space. By Jordan Fischer from Chicago [(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In your study space, include a comfortable chair or two, a desk with ample surface area that will allow you to spread out your papers, and enough drawer storage to fit all your college related supplies (extra notebooks, extra writing utensils, textbooks, paper, etc.).

Decorate your space such that you feel relaxed, but not so much that your room is too much fun. Your primary reason for creating a specific study space in your off-campus housing is to get as much work done as you would on-campus in a study lounge or the library’s group rooms.

Make sure that can happen–design your space with studying in mind as the number one purpose for the room.

Use furniture that doubles as both visually cute and functional.

To ensure that the room stays organized enough that you can focus, try to stock your space with cute furniture that doubles as surprisingly convenient storage.

Colorful ottomans double as cute seating and convenient storage.
Image Via: http://www.vizimac.com/

For instance, ottomans double as seating and storage, perfect for stashing clutter that may otherwise make you feel chaotic when trying to study. Find ways to maximize your space this way with cool “furniture hacks” that will keep your space clean and conducive to productivity.

Deck out your walls with whiteboards and bulletin boards.

A college student like you has too many brilliant ideas per day not to write them all down. Deck out your study space with an ample supply of whiteboards and dry erase markers in bright colors, perfect for making to-do lists, schedules, calendars, and studying. Whiteboards are easy to clean and super convenient, whether you buy a large one and hang it on the wall, or a smaller one to keep near your desk.

Use whiteboards and bulletin boards to organize your thoughts.
Image Via: www.digitalclergy.com

Cork bulletin boards are great to put in your study space as well; you can buy a package of thumbtacks and hang up loose papers of importance, such as reminders, Post-Its, brochures and other notes you want to keep track of. These come in various sizes as well, so you can put them wherever is most convenient in your study room.

Plus, if you write down a bunch of calculus equations on a whiteboard around the room, you’ll be reminded of them when you see the board; not only will this help you internalize whatever you’re trying to learn, but glancing at it will remind you to start working again if you get sidetracked (which will inevitably happen if you make your room too interesting).

Have snacks on hand.

If your study room doesn’t already have some form of refrigerator in it already, consider obtaining a mini-fridge or cabinet to store snacks for when you need to take a break from homework. As many on-campus study spaces serve free food for students (especially around midterms and finals week), your off-campus study room should contain brain food as well–you’re going to have to eat sometime!

Studying superfoods.
Image Via: https://upload.wikimedia.org

Designate an area of your study room for making yourself a quick snack that will help you plow through a long to-do list. This will become especially convenient, as you’ll have everything you need all in one place for those unfortunate all-nighters and late-night review sessions, which you will be unable to pull off efficiently on an empty stomach.

Invest in a quality light source.

Lighting makes all the difference when you’re trying to get into study mode. Experiment with using an overhead light if your study room has one, or different types of lamps for desks and tables. Certain levels of light might hurt your eyes after a few hours of working, while other settings of lower light may make you sleepy when you need to be awake the most. Aim for a light intensity that won’t give you a headache, but will create a pleasant atmosphere for reading and writing.

Choose a great study lamp.
Image via: Pixabay

Creating a study space when you live off campus is essential to keeping up in college. If needed, you can still frequent the on-campus study lounges at your university, but you’ll find that having a space just for off-campus studying is imperative to being the successful student you are. Setting up a space that works for you will pay off immensely both happiness-wise and GPA-wise.

Looking for a more convenient way to furnish your off-campus apartment? Rent stylish furniture from CORT and save time and money. For more information on furniture rental packages, click here.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
I am a graduate student in the Creative Writing MFA program at San Jose State University. I specialize in creative nonfiction writing and poetry, as well as composition studies.

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