Having a dedicated study space is important for maintaining productivity and staying on top of your assignments. The tools you have in that study space, however, can make a difference in how effective each study session is. These 10 simple items can ensure you’re prepared for every semester:
If you already rely on a planner on your smartphone, a physical planner might seem counterproductive. However, jotting down your schedule is a great way to commit things to memory and make sure that everything is organized. Plus, having deadlines and dates written in two places is a great way to make sure that you don’t forget them.
2. USB flash drive
No Internet access? Can’t get to a computer? No problem! A USB ensures you’ll always have your files wherever you go. Store presentations, research papers, assignments, course information, etc., that will be easily accessible when you need it. If you’re saving a large file or an essay that took you hours to write, you can upload it to your USB drive as a back-up in case your computer crashes.
3. Reusable water bottle
It’s important to stay hydrated while studying. One way to ensure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day is by keeping a reusable water bottle at your desk. It’s easy to grab and refill and is also more environmentally friendly than the plastic water bottle alternatives.
4. File organizer
No matter the degree you’re working toward, it’s likely you’re juggling a variety of deadlines and projects at the same time. A file or folder organizer at your desk not only helps keep everything straight, but it can also declutter your desk to help you stay focused and make it easier to find things when you need them.
You don’t want to be halfway through writing a paper only to have your computer die due to a low battery. If you know that you’ll be working for a while, plug in all your devices so you won’t have to worry about a dying battery. Consider investing in a charging port for some of your specific devices, or buy a portable battery that allows you to charge your devices on the go.
6. Book tabs
As you’re reading through textbooks and taking notes, you may come across certain sections or pieces of info that you want to come back to later. This is where book tabs or sticky note tabs can come in handy. Use different colors to indicate different items such as important quotes, things you have questions about, stats you need to remember for upcoming exams, etc.
7. Blank note cards
Note cards are a tried and true study essential, and they’re always good to have on-hand in your desk. Use them to commit statistics or vocabulary to memory, create practice quizzes or write explanations in your own words. Stack your note cards into two piles: know it and forgot. This way, you can focus your studies on the concepts you may be struggling with.
Depending on your study environment, you may need to block out background noise. Earplugs are a great way to instantly create a perfectly quiet study space. Noise-canceling headphones are also a great investment that can cut out distractions and allow you to listen to music while studying.
9. Healthy snacks
During a long study session, you’ll eventually need a break and you may be hungry. Snacks can be a good study incentive and can give you the energy to continue studying. While candy bars might give you a sugar rush, you’ll soon lose that energy and crash. Instead, opt for healthy snacks such as nuts, granola or protein bars that will keep you full and focused.
It’s no secret that school can be stressful. While not essential, placing a few plants in your work area can brighten up your space and may even offer mental health benefits. In fact, one study showed that keeping a plant at your desk can help reduce stress and anxiety. Succulents, snake plants and spider plants are all low-maintenance and can easily be grown indoors.
You’ll spend a lot of time at your desk writing papers, completing assignments and studying throughout the semester. By having all or some of these items, you’ll have a study space that helps you work and study more efficiently.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.