Getting outside the box

An image of student life at the university of kentIt’s December, we’re winding down to the end of a busy, fast paced, fulfilling semester and now it’s time to reflect on everything we’ve done this term and how we want to move forward into the new one! New term, new year, new you!

I’ve been watching the students around me shift from the relaxed atmosphere of that juicy middle part of the semester, where we’ve just finished midterm assignments and it’s too early to justify starting the next round, and now we’re in the all-nighter, “I should have started this in November” phase. As this inevitable change comes towards us I have noticed a lot of students, including myself, entering a very stressful rut. I actually struggled to leave the house for anything other than lectures for an entire week! And I’m seeing so many people doing the same, recoiling into their rooms during the end of term chaos.

Although taking your books and notes into your blanket cave haven seems like an ideal situation, it’s honestly probably not. Spending so much time in such a small familiar place can dampen your creativity! It’s counterproductive to lock yourself away in your Park Wood tower, studying alone with nothing but the sound of your clicking keyboard. Personally, it drove me to madness and I eventually decided I had to venture outside my own home (the box) to find the ideal workspace that would give me the opportunity to concentrate and focus my way to a first.

Studying in a location that isn’t your room or house is a great way to hold yourself accountable. It motivates you to get out of the house and be productive and often you’ll find that your day is filled with a lot more achievement than it would be if you just stayed in your pyjamas. Studying in the library with your friends kills two birds with one stone – you can hold each other accountable while also getting some quality social interaction.

The library isn’t the only place that is available to you as a Kent student. The campus has so many places to go, most of them never reaching capacity (except probably the library) that have so much to offer. Here’s my list of favourites – see ya around!

  • The Park Wood Study Hub – accessible 24/7 with your student card, just next to Essentials (which means being only a few steps away from study snackage at all times). It also doubles as the security home base, so you’ll never be alone!
  • The Rutherford Study Hub – this is a nice gem of a study space. It’s definitely designed with student collaboration in mind! If you’ve got a group of friends who all need to study, or work on a group project, this hub is prepared to offer separated meeting spaces and couches!
  • The Gulbenkian Cafe – most of my favorite places have the mandatory feature of being near food. This area is a great place near the library, so once you strike out trying to find a seat there you can settle into the bustling nook of the Gulbenkian. Grab a coffee, plug in your headphones and independently work your way to success.
  • The multimedia labs in Cornwallis and Marlowe – I risk losing my peace and quiet by revealing these secluded rooms, but I shall share the wealth nonetheless! Cornwallis and Marlowe are buildings that experience a little less traffic than the rest of the buildings on campus. If you wander these buildings you’re sure to see a sign that says “multimedia lab”. These are study rooms with computers, printers, and are usually very quiet as they are used for independent work.

These places are my top choices on campus, but even campus can feel a little bland sometimes so I choose to mix it up with a trip into town! Canterbury’s city centre street’s are lined with adorable cafes that are ideal to spend a few hours in with a few readings – just make sure you buy a coffee or a snack first!

At the close of this term, look back on your study habits – have they helped or hindered you? If it’s the second option, maybe it’s time to revise your methods and maybe that means that you need to try and get outside of your box and look for a new place to give you inspiration. Happy studying, and see you next term!

This post is by Gytha Chapman