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Opinion

Finding the right place to meet your studying needs

Brittney Pfenning­-Wendt

April 27, 2012

As the weeks wind down and finals draw nearer, it’s essential to find a place one can study efficiently. Preferences regarding study places vary tremendously from person to person so it’s important you identify yours.

Determine how susceptible to distractions you are. Some people require complete silence, while others actually benefit from background noise, such as conversation or music. Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of time you are able to remain focused on a task at hand.

If you need to take frequent breaks from your studying, you will want somewhere with plenty of space and other things to do during those breaks.

With so many preference variances there is no one perfect study place for everyone. Even choosing an individual’s perfect place to study cannot be easily pinpointed; however, there are many options for you on and off campus.

Starting with on-campus locations that offer some great places to sit down and get some work done are the Chalmer Davee Library, University Center, study rooms, and of course your dorm room. As I’m sure you’re familiar with these locations, you know each offer a great study place for a different reason.

When it comes to off-campus locations you may not be as familiar with the places available. They are numerous, but there are a specific few that serve as great places and offer a different type of atmosphere for each preference type.

Closer to campus one could walk to the Kinni Falls. It provides a nice getaway where you can enjoy plenty of fresh air, natural lighting, and nature while getting some work done. There are a few drawbacks you may want to keep in mind however. As it is outside you’ll have to pay close attention to the weather and be careful around the water.

The River Falls Public Library offers a studying atmosphere much like the Chalmer Davee, except off campus so you don’t have to worry about running into too many distractions in the form of friends.

Two more off-campus locations really stuck out. These were the Dish and the Spoon café and Earth Angels coffeehouse. Besides both providing your daily intake of caffeine they have many other fine qualities to note.

The Dish and the Spoon provides bright light and has a large dining table in the back flanked by a tall bookshelf on one side. There’s plenty of room for your laptop, textbooks and notes. They also have outdoor seating for nice days if you prefer to study outside.

Earth Angels coffeehouse is unique in that they have live music certain evenings. On their website one can find a calendar outlining who is coming to play and when. Another neat thing they offer is various programs such as ‘Discovery U,’ a weekly program where you can come and relax while exploring ways to lower stress and positively influence your life.

If music helps you focus while studying or you’re looking for more than just a coffeehouse, I’d recommend this location as they have plenty of tables and Wi-Fi making it a prime place to hit the books.

With so many options it’s important to determine your preference and then see which location meets those preferences. Take the quiz below if you want an idea of where to start in finding that perfect studying place for you.

Brittney Pfenning­-Wendt is a columnist for the Student Voice.